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Greece sets up a Migration Ministry, 6 months after abolishing the previous one

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis needed full six months to realize that it was a grave mistake to abolish the Migration Ministry created by the SYRIZa government and assign such a crucial issue for Greece to the Ministry of Public Order as well as to deputy ministers in other institutions, like in the Foreign and the Defense ministries.

In a surprise move, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced on Wednesday that the government is setting up a new Ministry for Migration and Asylum.

Appointed as Minister is Notis Mitarakis, who became target of angry protesters on Monday evening when he visited the island of Chios to discuss the creation of a new closed accommodation facility for migrants and refugees. Mitarakis had visited the island in his capacity as deputy Labor Minister.

Giorgos Koumoutsakos has been appointed Alternate Minister of Migration and Asylum.

Citing government sources, media note that “the change was deemed necessary because roles were confused and it was considered that better coordination was needed as many ministries were involved in the issue.”

“From the very beginning, the government pursued a different policy on the issue of refugee-migration,” Petsas said. He reiterated the four pillar of New Democracy government policy on the issue as “guarding of Greece’s,speeding up asylum procedures, increased refunds, closed pre-departure centers” as well as the promotion of decongesting the islands.

He added that Greece “has internationalized the problem in all international fora.”

Former PM Alexis Tsipras ironically commented on the new Ministry writing on his Facebook account: “I congratulate Mr Mitsotakis who finally needed only six months and seven days to understand the cripple he created in the refugee issue and what a perfect gaffe it was to abolish the Ministry of Migration in the country with the largest refugees and migrants flows in the whole Europe.”and refugees. all over Europe.”

Based on official data the Migration has gone out of control especially on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.

According to official data by the National Coordination Center for Border Control, Migration and Asylum, out of a total of 42,151 refugees and immigrants in all the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea, 35,172 are alone on the three islands: 21,480 people on Lesvos, 7,636 on Samos and 6,056 on Samos.

It is noteworthy that the number has risen sharply by 75% (!) in just four months (it was 20,318 at the beginning of September), although thousands of people were relocated from the islands to the mainland in the framework of the decongestion plan, daily ethnos underlines.

Flows of refugees and migrants are ongoing despite the rough winter weather conditions.

Local authorities and residents on the five Aegean islands with the majority of refugees and migrants plan a general strike on January 22-23,2020.

PS1 With the re-establishment of the Migration Ministry, PM Mitsotakis, at least, admits that he made a mistake… so grave that turned even ND-loyal mayors on the islands against him. His choice to assign Mitarakis with the issue does not speak of a “lucky hand” either.

PS2 Another interesting aspect of the new MM is the fact that PM Mitsotakis has started the planned “evaluation of ministers” and what they have accomplished in the 6 months of governance. Public Order Minister Chrysochoidis moved from PASOK to ND for the sake of a ministry. The man had to be “politically protected” as he would be evaluated as “failed accomplishment” in the Migration. Right.

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