Greece says EU utilizing Mediterranean international locations like a refugee ‘parking zone’

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Greece on Monday urged the European Union to elevate motion restrictions for refugees acknowledged by particular person nations, accusing the bloc of making use of a double normal when coping with Ukrainians fleeing the battle in contrast with the victims of different conflicts.

Notis Mitarachi, Greece’s migration affairs minister, stated a “lack of solidarity” was holding up efforts to comprehensively reform migration guidelines throughout the 27-nation bloc.

Refugees granted worldwide safety by EU nations at the moment can not take full benefit of the bloc’s provisions free of charge motion. However Ukrainians escaping the Russian invasion of their nation face fewer restrictions.

“That isn’t honest, and Greece will insist on that time … the Ukrainian association ought to apply to all refugees so long as they’re formally acknowledged,” Mitarachi stated. “Sadly, the EU in some unspecified time in the future determined that international locations of entry … can be used like a parking zone for refugees who need to come to Europe.”

The EU is struggling to beat divisions amongst its members over guidelines for refugee settlement and border safety however needs a brand new migration pact to be hammered out subsequent yr.

Negotiations have shifted from resettlement quotas, which many Jap European international locations have rejected, to a proposed voluntary mechanism.

Mitarachi welcomed a reported proposal that refugees could possibly be granted free motion after a three-year ready interval, however warned that resettlement was more likely to stay a significant sticking level.

He advised reporters: “If we don’t see progress on the difficulty of solidarity, a [new deal] received’t make it previous the EU Council or lawmakers” within the subsequent few years.

Greece was a key transit level for a whole lot of hundreds of migrants and refugees coming into the EU in 2015-16, many fleeing wars in Iraq and Syria. It has since toughened its borders and constructed a metal wall alongside its land border with Turkey.

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