The Greek government has appointed a new interior minister and a new assistant minister for refugee integration, both of which are said to hold anti-mass migration views.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appointed the two officials earlier this week with Makis Voridis, formerly the Minister for Agriculture, becoming the country’s new interior minister.
Voridis has previously criticised illegal migrants arriving on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, stating that many were not legitimate asylum seekers and that Syrians were a minority among them, Infomigrants reports.
Sofia Voultepsi, meanwhile, was tapped by the government to become the assistant minister for refugee integration. During a debate on Greek television in 2014, she had called illegal migrants “unarmed invaders”.
Over 30 NGO Workers Implicated in Facilitating Illegal Migration by Greek Police https://t.co/RDBo3eboV8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 30, 2020
The new appointments come after Greece saw a considerable reduction of migrants in 2020, primarily due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed after the start of the Chinese coronavirus in the Spring.
The government has also cracked down on illegal migration and has been accused of engaging in “pushback” operations in the Aegean sea. However, the Greek government has officially denied any claims that border agents have been involved in pushbacks.
Greece has also pursued action against pro-migrant NGO groups and implicated at over 30 NGO workers, many of them foreign nationals, for aiding illegal migration and working with people smugglers to help migrants avoid Greek border patrols in the Aegean.
Last month, NGOs were again blamed for a surge of African migrants, particularly Somalians, with migration minister Notis Mitarakis stating: “NGOs pay for the cost of travel and the issuance of a visa to Turkey, with flights to Istanbul. Then [the migrants] are transported to the Turkish coast, where migrant smugglers, again with NGO support, help them enter the European Union illegally.”
NGOs Allegedly Helping African Migrants Illegally Enter Greece https://t.co/dRFzYMPfvr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 18, 2020