ATHENS – The handling of migration is an “ongoing wager” that demands European solidarity and preparedness but also provides a ground for the production of myths and fake news, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday, addressing an event organised by the migration and asylum ministry at the Zappion Mansion in Athens.
The event was entitled “Three years of a Migration and Asylum Ministry, three years of effective management of the migration crisis”, with Mitsotakis comparing the work done by the present government in this area with the situation it had taken over in 2019, stressing that it had “protected the country and Europe, as well as migrants, from traffickers.”
The prime minister emphasised the government’s decision on March 1, 2020 to secure the country’s borders and prevent “the instrumentalisation of people using every means”.
He also noted that the Greek islands “were now able to breathe”, with the migrants living on the islands dropping from some 40,000 in 2019 to just 5,000 at present.
Mitsotakis underlined that “our priority is the protection of human life,” noting that “the coast guard has rescued tens of thousands of people in the Aegean”. He also referred to unaccompanied migrant and refugee children, saying that the creation of a special secretariat helped reunite 1,580 minors with their families.
Finally, he emphasised the need to be able to critically examine the various non-governmental organisations, noting a need to “look at the action of some NGO’s where we must separate the wheat from the chaff”.