A meeting between the government and authorities from Chios to discuss problems caused by migration focused on proposals to support the islands bearing the brunt of the problem, Northern Aegean prefect Christina Kalogirou said on Tuesday as she exited Maximos Mansion.
“The government accepted that that there should be a special support program of the islands that are faced with the problem,” Kalogirou told journalists. “During the meeting I stressed the need to maintain a reduced VAT on the islands in order to address the social and economic impact,” she added.
New Democracy MP Notis Mitarakis, who is elected in Chios, said talks were constructive and “the government adopted significant changes which are moving in the right direction.”
“We stressed the significant delays in issues of granting asylum and generally problems concerning the management of refugee hotspots. We asked for a speeding up of the procedure, separation of refugees from migrants and a better coordination and support of islanders,” he said, adding that the government also has to find new spots to accommodate refugees that meets necessary security standards.
Chios mayor Emmanouil Vournous said the municipality will review what was discussed at the next municipal meeting and mentioned the proposal to create a registration center and a pre-removal center to detain those who failed to receive asylum.
Commenting on the proposal to lower VAT on the islands burdened from migration, Vournous said its adoption from the government would show it understands the problem caused to the islands.