Wednesday, June 19 2024

Koumoutsakos calls for EU funding to help keep hotspots coronavirus-free

There is no coronavirus case at any of the hotspots in Greece, but preventing such an event will require emergency support, Alternate Migration & Asylum Minister George Koumoutsakos told EU Internal Affairs fellow-ministers during a video conference on Friday.

"A coronavirus infection at the Reception and Identification Centers could lead to dramatic repercussions," he warned.
Koumoutsakos said that 1,000 migrants and refugees belonging to vulnerable groups had been transferred from the islands to the mainland the last three months.
He also thanked EU member states for committing to taking in unaccompanied children, which exceed 5,000 so far in Greece. He also urged that their relocation take place the soonest possible.
Referring to Turkish-generated tension and the return of migrants, Koumoutsakos said that despite the de-escalation of tension at the Greek-Turkish borders, "the situation remains one of great concern." The Turkish authorities informed Greece's Coast Guard that, as of March 16, they will not be receiving returning migrants and refugees, as foreseen in the EU-Turkey joint statement, because of the coronavirus pandemic.