Malta’s Abela says EU member-states must speed up relocation for refugees

All the member-states of the European Union must fulfill their obligations towards Greece and accelerate the rate of relocations from the country, Malta’s Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela representing the European Council Chair said on Thursday, during a visit to Lesvos.

Abela was accompanied by European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizeship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas, who were at the island to inspect the progress that has been made one year into the agreement.

“We have decided on 160,000 relocations of refugees and after almost two years we have only 14,000. Therefore yes, we must continue the effort. We urge member-states to keep their promises and commitments and relocate refugees from Italy and Greece. We have to accelerate the relocation procedure,” he said during a visit to Moria camp.

Abela also praised Mouzalas for his “leading and coordinating role” and the local community, the mayor and other local government officials who worked to achieve progress in Lesvos.

“We’re here to examine the situation and we’re happy we are seeing an improvement. Of course, there’s need and base for further improvements,” he added.