Migration Min Mitarachi on BBC World News: ‘Greece and Europe have borders, so illegal crossings are not tolerated’

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Migration & Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi categorically dispelled recent reports which claimed Greece had resorted to forced returns of refugees, in an interview with BBC World News, reads a Monday ministry statement.

“ We have categorically rejected these allegations, as such incidents have nothing to do with reality. We believe this is the result of the propaganda of human trafficking rings that lose tens of millions of euros.”

The minister added that “ we protect our borders, respecting our international obligations as well as European regulations. Greece and Europe have borders, so illegal crossings are not tolerated, which is fully in line with International Law.”

“ Greece cannot be the gateway to Europe. We do not want to act as an aid to the strategy of some people who come to Greece in order to go to other European countries,” he noted.

Asked whether Turkey would try to re-instrumentalize human suffering by way of pushing refugees to Greek borders, Mitarachi replied that “ we have seen the Turkish Coast Guard escort migrants to our maritime borders on several occasions, which clearly proves that these people are safe in Turkey, seeing as the neighboring country helps them cross the European Union’s maritime borders.”

“The concept of asylum concerns the provision of safe living conditions to people who are at risk,” the minister noted.




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