“We are making huge diplomatic efforts to preserve the EU-Turkey agreement,” Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said on Friday in Parliament.
Mouzalas acknowledged that there was a recent increase in the number of refugees and migrants arriving on the islands of Lesvos and Samos, but stated that this was not tantamount to a collapse of the agreement.
“If the EU-Turkey agreement collapses, if there are mass arrivals of refugees as in 2015, it is clear that these people cannot stay on the islands and they will be transferred to the mainland,” Mouzalas noted.
The minister explained that, following the agreement, the number of people arriving on the islands each day had dropped to 70-80, from a peak of roughly 10,000 a day before March 30, 2015.
Mouzalas confirmed that the government will not take any action that might endanger the EU-Turkey agreement, adding that Greece is putting diplomatic pressure on Europe and Turkey to meet their commitments.