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Migration Minister reassures “no new hot spots on the islands, no asylum seekers returns”

Migration Minister, Dimitris Vitsas, dismissed dress reports that new hot spots will be established on the islands or that asylum seekers returns from Germany will be place on the five islands. In a letter to the mayors of the islands that have received the majority of refugees and migrants, that is Lesvos, Chios, Samos Kos and Leros, Vitsas reassured them that asylum seekers returning from Germany will not be placed in hot spots of these islands.

“Reports about 1,000 returns to Samos (last week, even 5,000 returns were reported) or the creation of new accommodation centers are deliberately false, and monstrously false are statements or rumors by people who have public  ,” Vitsas noted in his letter to the five mayors and the regional governors in North and South Aegean.

The Minister criticized the joint letter by the mayors of the five islands with hotspots and spoke of  a plethora of rumors, public      and reports that deliberately or not distort the reality.”

In his letter, Vitsas underlined that “no conclusion in the EU Summit and no [bilateral] agreement concerns our islands.” Stressing that “the situation remains as it is,” he added that Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros will maintain one hotspot for each island.

With regards to the Greek-German agreement still due to be formulated, Vitsas said that “the reunification of refugee families from Greece to Germany and the readmission of third-country nationals who will be recorded in Greece in the future and will be located in Germany concerns exclusively the procedures and the accommodation centers in the mainland not the five islands.”

“No one will go directly from the islands to reunite with his family in Germany and no one will be returned from Germany to the Greek islands,” he stressed.

Referring to the speculation that Greece agreed with German on asylum seekers returns in exchange to maintain the decreased Value Added Tax on the five islands, the Migration Minister said “the scenarios that new hot spots will be created on the islands in exchange for low V.A.T. are simply lies.”

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