The Greek government at an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, in connection with an increase in the flow of migrants, decided to strengthen coast guard and expand cooperation with the European Border Protection Agency Frontex and NATO, a cabinet official told reporters.
On Saturday, an extraordinary meeting was held at the premier’s residence under the leadership of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on issues related to the flows of refugees and migrants. The meeting was attended by the ministers of foreign affairs, defense of citizens, defense, maritime and island policies, the state minister, and an official representative of the government.
“At the meeting, it was decided to continue measures to “unload ” the islands from migrants and refugees, strengthen ships and personnel on the coast guard in the eastern Aegean, expand cooperation with partners – Frontex and NATO,” – the official said.
In recent months, hundreds of migrants and refugees arrive daily on the Greek islands from the Turkish coast. According to the migration service, over the past four days alone, more than 2 thousand people arrived. The migrant reception centers on the islands are crowded, migrants demand to be transported to the continental part of Greece, because of this the situation in the camps and islands has worsened.
At the same time, Turkey stated that it has 4 million refugees, and it cannot endlessly support them. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open the country’s western borders for Syrian refugees if a security zone in northern Syria is not created, and if the West does not provide the promised assistance to Ankara.
The heads of state and government of the EU member states in mid-March 2016 agreed with Turkey a joint plan to combat the migration crisis. It provides, in particular, the provision of financial assistance to Ankara to receive refugees, the return to Turkey of all illegal immigrants who arrived in Greece from Turkish territory, and the reception by the EU of legal Syrian migrants from Turkey on a one-by-one basis.