Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas announced on Friday in parliament that only 119 refugees and migrants are currently being held in the detention centers in Evros, down from 1,270 detained since early 2018.
Vitsas acknowledged that problems persist on the islands, however, and said that the government’s aim is to reduce asylum seekers living at hotspots to numbers corresponding to the reception centers’ capacity to host them by September. While declaring himself open to dialogue with democratic forces, he clarified that he “will not negotiate with fascist groups.”
Noting that the situation in Evros was much improved compared with previous months as the result of systematic effort.
“I am not sure that this reduction in Evros will continue. We must continue to be alert and not relax our efforts,” he said, adding that total migration flows in the last four months have increased sharply.
Greece supports a common system for examining asylum requests and returns, he said, and has joined forces with another four reception countries to table 13 common positions ahead of the Dublin 4 debate.