Berlin (dpa) – Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on Germany and other countries to take in migrants and asylum seekers directly from the island of Lesbos.
“The idea is that a portion of the asylum application process be carried out in other countries,” Mitsotakis said in an interview with the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
“We need to develop a European asylum and migration pact, like what the [European] Commission promised, and in dealing with this problem, we need more burden sharing,” he said.
The registration camps for migrants on the Greek islands in the east of the Aegean Sea are severely overcrowded. Approximately 39,000 people live in and around the camps on Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros und Kos, according to government estimates. The total official capacity of the camps is approximately 7,500 people.
Following a recent inspection of the camp on Lesbos, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi declared the situation catastrophic.
Ylva Johansson, the EU’s new commissioner for home affairs, has said there is an urgent need to reform the bloc’s asylum policies.