Greece provides Lithuanian support for a surge in immigrant numbers

Athens — Greece has offered to share its experience on immigration with Lithuania to address the surge in cross-border populations, Prime Minister Kiriacos Mitsutakis said Thursday, “organized” for Belarus to put pressure on it. After calling it “effort,” he said. That neighbor.

Comments are due to Lithuanian and EU authorities accusing Minsk of using illegal immigrants to put pressure on the European Union for block sanctions, following a meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite in Athens. come.

“What Belarus is doing is simply unacceptable,” said Mitsutakis, who said leaders could secure adequate reception facilities, speed up asylum procedures, and “provide people who are not eligible for international protection.” He added that he had discussed how to “return effectively and quickly.”

Epoch Times Photo
Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsutakis welcomes Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida Simonite at the Maximos House in Athens, Greece, on July 15, 2021. (Distribution via Dimitris Papamitos / Greek Prime Minister’s Office / Reuters)

In July alone, more than 1,700 people, including 1,100, arrived in Lithuania across the border amid heightened tensions between the European Union and Belarus this year.

“The total may seem less scary, but the scariest thing is the trend,” said Simonete, adding that more than 20 times more people were in the event than the previous year.

Greece, which has long been accused of misusing immigration by neighboring Turkey, was struck by the crisis in 2015, when more than a million people from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan joined the European Union.

At the same time, Athens is also facing criticism of the immigration issue and its strong denial of the illegal “push back” of immigrant vessels entering the waters from Turkey.

Mitsutakis reiterated that migration is a problem for the EU as a whole, but it weighs heavily on border states in particular. He said he had agreed with Simonite to coordinate a common position on the new EU migration and asylum agreement.

They agreed that the new policy should not burden Member States who have seen more immigrant pressure for their geographical reasons, he said.

“Lithuania will also seek more effective immigration policies,” a Lithuanian Prime Minister’s spokeswoman told Reuters.

European Union executives launched a plan to review migrant rules in September to resolve the long-standing suffering of refugees fleeing the Middle East and Africa.

The most sensitive factor effectively requires each state to accept refugees. This was strongly opposed by the eastern countries of Poland and Hungary.

James Mackenzie and Andrew Citas

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