Minister and island mayors discuss refugee issue without agreement

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Minister and island mayors discuss refugee issue without agreementGerman mass daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung referred to a growing trend of voluntary repatriations of third country migrants stranded in Greece

Greece's Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas and the mayors of Lesvos, Chios and Samos held talks on ways to decrease overcrowding on the islands on Tuesday but did not reach any agreement.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mouzalas underlined that the "climate was good" but there were "the usual disagreements".

"We continue the effort to find solutions and we believe in the end we will find them," he continued.

Lesvos mayor Spyros Galinos stressed talks were food but no decisions were made. "I'd like to believe logic will prevail because the main thing is to protect social cohesion and the human lives that are currently in danger," he said. "Dogmatism and obsession do not help in finding solutions."

Galinos also added mayors will continue to protest the inaction "until we manage to bring back peace on our islands" and to prevent them from "being turned into prisons."

Chios mayor Manolis Vournous announced he told the minister to speed up the process of returns to Turkey and open closed pre-deportation centers. He said the ministry has suggested these measures but the mayors have been demanding it for several months and no action has been taken.

Vournous said Mouzalas promised he will make reforms to the legislative framework to improve the asylum process. Asked whether there will be a next meeting with the minister, Vournous said: "There's no reason for a new meeting when there are so many differences."

Samos mayor Mihalis Angelopoulos left the meeting before it was completed, visibly upset, and without making any comments. According to sources, his anger followed Mouzalas' claim that the mayors were to blame for the policies they are implementing on migration.

The three mayors met earlier with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Irish Defence Forces License: CC-BY-SA

Source: ANA-MPA

 

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