Greece’s Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas vowed to improve living conditions in the overcrowded migrants camps especially on the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Yannis Mouzalas revealed a new phenomenon in the Migration:
The Unaccompanied Brides
These are minor girls married to adult refugees and migrants. These couples are not accepted by other EU countries “because their marriage is not recognized.” Exception is Ireland, however, there “the man will have to go court for rape because the bride is a minor.”
At the same time the girls can not be accepted either as unaccompanied minors, as they arrived in Greece accompanied by their husband.
Today there are 70 such cases in Greece.
Mouzalas said that “in EU they use this as pretext to accept neither the couple nor the bride/girl.”
The Minister stressed that “this issue is incredibly complex and shows how our cultural models tangle with each other.”
* KTG note: it is worth investigating whether these men exploit the minor girls just to come over to Europe – like in the hope that the girl is granted asylum as a minor and consequently her husband too.
Yannis Mouzalas outlined the government plans with regards to Refugee Crisis for the next months.
“We are planning to have new, small venues on the islands, either by setting up small, two-storey houses, in order to empty the tents, or by finding other places … to improve conditions,” Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told reporters.
“It will need time but we will do it.”
He said authorities would also set up small detention centres and boost policing.
He added that an e-card with biometric data of holder will replace the residence permission.
Mouzalas acknowledged that slow processing of asylum requests was an “Achilles heel” but said Athens was hiring more staff to speed it up.
He complained that Greece wanted to transfer to mainland those in hot spots or detention centers on the islands but “there was not positive response neither form the EU nor from Turkey.” According to EU Turkey Deal refugees and migrants who arrived in Greece after the deal implementation on March 20th 2016 must remain on the islands.
A total of 60, refugees and migrants are stuck in Greece after the Balkan route closed beginning of the year.
About 15,000 are in overcrowded island camps that have grown violent as the slow processing of asylum requests adds to frustration over living conditions.
In an interview to Avgi newspaper, Mouzalas said on Christmas Eve that he expects the decongestion of the islands to begin in April 2017 and that refugees should be relocated according to their legal rights..
At the same time the implementation of the plan for 2,000-2,500 relocation per month to other EU countries is to start as well.
He described as “burden for the government” the integration of 20,000-25,000 refugees who will stay in the country.
Mouzalas stressed that he was confident that “by January 15th 2017 no refugee or migrant will live in tents, but indoors with secured heating, medical care and food.”
He announced that the government goal is to reduce catering services as of February and give money so that people regain some dignity by buying and cooking their meals themselves.”
He admitted that the situation on the islands was very difficult and that there has been a qualitative change in the new arrivals: the majority of the new arrivals were economic migrants without prospect for asylum or to continue their journey to the West.