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Greek Government to Submit Bill for Implementation of the EU-Turkey Deal

GovernmentThe Greek government will table in parliament on March 30 a draft bill that will address issues relating the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal, the head of Greece’s coordinating body for the management of the refugee crisis said on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of Government Refugee and Migration Policy Council chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Giorgos Kyritsis said ministers discussed all the issues arising from the EU-Turkey deal and more general problems concerning the management of the refugee crisis.
He said that, starting next week, the government will also intensify efforts to relieve the situation at the makeshift camp of Idomeni by providing means of transport to refugees and migrants to be transferred to accommodation centers.
He said that similar initiatives could be taken to resolve the problems in Piraeus. “The logic is that all non-organized structures like Idomeni and Piraeus must seize to exist. Now we’re making efforts towards both directions, but the government believes that the issue of Idomeni is a priority,” he said. “Soon after, that is in the next week, we’ll start [similar] efforts will also start in Piraeus.”
Asked how the government will accommodate 14,000 people who are stuck in idomeni considering centers nearby are already filled to capacity, Kyritsis said the government can quickly make more than 2,000 positions available in existing centers and that more spots will be freed as of Monday.
Responding to a question whether any EU officials have arrived to staff asylum services, Kyritsis said they are expected to arrive by March 28, but that nobody has arrived yet.
Asked to whether Greece plans to adopt any legislative directives proclaiming Turkey as a safe third country, he referred to a comment by government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili who had said that “the Greek side doesn’t find it necessary to legislate on this.”
Kyritsis also announced that the government is preparing 30,000 more spots in the next six months, adding that the locations are “more or less delimited,” but noted that any announcements cannot be made by him because the issue is still being discussed with local authorities.
Responding to a critical comment on the hotspots being turned into detention centers, Kyritsis said they are not detention centers but “closed centers, in the sense that refugees must be under some restrictions and be available to Greek authorities.”
“The mentality is not to imprison people,” he added.
(Source: ANA MPA)

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