Greek minister for migration and refugee said the anxiety and resentment of the inhabitants of the islands at the forefront of the migration crisis are justified, and promised to take measures to combat the increase in the number of arrivals, AP reported.
Residents of the Lesvos, Chios and Samos islands held a two-day protest and went on strike, demanding that the government solve the problem of overcrowding of migrant camps. Local mayors and the governor of the region went to Athens to meet the Minister of Migration Notis Mitarakis.
“We consider citizens’ anxiety and indignation justified,” Mitarakis said after the meeting at the prime minister’s office. “Our country is indeed dealing with a migration crisis and increased migration flows in 2019.” The minister said the increased number of people in the camps was in turn putting pressure on local communities.
According to him, the government and local island officials agreed on current priorities, which should reduce the entry of more people, ease overcrowding of island camps, accelerate the return to Turkey, improve the asylum process and medical facilities on the islands.
The minister said he would meet with mayors and the governor of the region every two weeks.