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Malmstrom: Greece Will Be on EU Agenda for Some

The situation in Greece on the immigration front remains “very difficult” and “will be on the EU agenda for some time,” the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, has said after a meeting in Brussels today with Greece’s Minister for Civilian Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis.
“We are monitoring the use of EU funds and the issue is no longer to give more money, but rather for the money to be used efficiently,” Malmstrom said. Greece, the main entry way into the EU for immigrants, will continue with the “asylum package” agreed upon with the EU Commission to tackle the emergency.
“But those who do not ask for asylum will return to their country of origin through voluntary repatriation,” Chrisochoidis added. In order to avoid a “health bomb”, the Greek minister added, illegal immigrants already on Greek soil “will be examined by medical experts”.
Meanwhile, the wall designed to keep out illegal immigrants, that Greece intends to build in the Evros area, “will be built and completed soon,” he added, though it will not be financed by the EU.
The Greek minister called it a “temporary solution”, as “the key development will be finalizing the agreement of readmission with Turkey,” for which Ankara will demand in exchange the liberalisation of visas for its citizens for the Schengen area.
“The Turks are expecting dialogue on visas and we accept this, though when this will happen is not clear,” Malmstrom commented. “Naturally there is a link between the two and we hope that dialogue will begin soon”.
(source: ANSA)

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