Alternate Minister for Citizens’ Protection Yiannis Panousis has indicated that Greece could overlook European laws and allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants to leave the country if European member states do not agree to share the burden of migrant influxes.
“If the Europeans do not understand what we are telling them... let’s give documents to 300,000 migrants who will disperse across Europe,” Panousis told Skai TV on Sunday.
“It will take two years to change the Dublin treaty,” the minister added, referring to European legislation which dictates that migrants seeking asylum make their applications in the first EU member state they enter, which is often Greece. Panousis estimated that another 2.5 million migrants would enter Greece during that time, which would be socially unsustainable.
Last week Panousis announced that migrants will not be held for more than 18 months in Greek detention centers which are to gradually close down. Authorities are this week to begin releasing undocumented immigrants from a much-criticized detention center in Amygdaleza, northwest of Athens.
The conditions for the migrants to be released are that they provide a permanent address and report to their local police station twice a month.