Deputy Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas said that refugees will stay 2-3 years in Greece and will help in the country’s demographic problem.
Speaking on ANT1 television on Thursday, the deputy minister said that, “it is a scientific truth that migrants help the demographic problem in areas they are migrating.” A similar view was voiced by Deputy Foreign Minister Nikos Xydakis two days ago.
Mouzalas admitted that 100,000 people will end up staying in Greece for 2-3 years, a number much higher than the numbers he was giving last week. Yet, it is lower than the 150,000 Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias estimated in an interview on SKAI television.
Referring to the government’s plans in accommodating refugees and migrants, Mouzalas said that the Greece-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia crossing at Idomeni is essentially closed, meaning that refugees who used to cross to FYROM and then to northern Europe will not be able to do so from now on.
“This puts us in another phase. Until now we were a transit country. Now these people will be trapped in Greece. We have a duty to accommodate them, to stop turning them loose on the streets. We need to create temporary accommodation spaces,” Mouzalas said.
The deputy minister predicted that the refugee flow will decrease, based on international experience. He stressed, however, that he doesn’t know how many migrants Greece can accommodate. He estimated it would be less than 150,000 and stated that there is another plan for temporary refugee hospitality centers.
At the moment it is estimated that there are about 40,000 refugees and migrants stranded in Greece, with 2,000-3,000 arriving daily from the Turkish shores.
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