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Politics

Migration Minister Mitarachi: Illegal Actions Are Not Tolerated

September 16, 2020

ATHENS — Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi on Wednesday sent a message that illegal actions will not be tolerated in Greece and that arrests have been made for all the fires that have been set at hotspots, in statements at the new facility at Kara Tepe, on the island of Lesvos.

The minister said that the recent fires at the asylum-seeker camps of Mytilene, Samos and a few months earlier on Chios demonstrate the need to immediately shut down open hosting facilities for migrants/refugees and replace them with closed and controlled centres that offer "decent living conditions, double fencing and controlled entry systems, fire safety and surveillance systems". "We can't allow pockets of deliquency to act outside the law," he added.

Speaking to SKAI radio in the wake of Germany's announcement that it will accept refugees relocated from Moria, Mitarachi said it was clear "that only persons with a confirmed refugee profile will leave so, consequently, the fire did not accelerate the process of examining their asylum requests."

Currently, he added, an effort was underway to persuade asylum seekers to settle at Kara Tepe of their own free will but, after a certain point, police will be forced to intervene and arrest anyone that create problems.

Mitarachi clarified that "nobody will remain on the islands permanently" and announced that the processing of asylum requests submitted up until today will be completed by Easter.

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