By Spiros Sideris – Athens
A clear message that Greece “cannot continue to bear the entire burden of managing the phenomenon of illegal migration in Europe on its own” was sent by Maritime Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in the framework of the tour of European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Internal Affairs issues, to the camp of Moria in Lesbos (capital of the Island Mytilene), which is acting as a reception center for illegal migrants.
During their visit to Mytilene, the Ministers of Maritime, and Citizen Protection, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Vasilis Kikilias inspected together with Cecilia Malmström the premises of the first reception center and chatted with the doctors and staff who work there, as well as with those who voluntarily contribute there on a daily basis.
At the same time, passing for the first time inside the place where the immigrants are detained, they chatted with them for some time and were informed up close on the conditions of their detention.
Later, Varvitsiotis and the European Commissioner visited the Central Port of Mytilene, where Malmström had the opportunity to speak with members of the Coast Guard for the daily management of illegal migration through the sea borders and the difficulties encountered due to the dramatic growth of the phenomenon lately; a result of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East.
Upon completion of the visit, Varvitsiotis said that “what we need and are asking right now is more money, which will be directed not only to meet the operational needs, but also to meet the needs of hospitality and reception of migrants and refugees”.
“The Greek government, led by Antonis Samaras, raised the issue of illegal immigration as dominant for the country internationally. The Greece cannot continue to bear the entire burden of managing the phenomenon of illegal migration in Europe on its own”, he said among others.