Published on : Thursday, May 17, 2018
The bill was finally approved after a lengthy debate on Tuesday evening with the votes of ruling coalition partners SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks (ANEL), along with centrist Potami (River) party.
Main opposition New Democracy, the Communists and ultra-right Golden Dawn voted against.
While discussing with the lawmakers before the vote, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas accepted that the bill “will not magically solve the refugee and migration issue” but explained that the government is keen to lessen the wait for thousands of asylum seekers.
Staffs will be added at the office under the new law that manages asylum requests, the appeals process for rejected applications will be abridged and travel restrictions can be implied on asylum-seekers who shifted from the Greek islands to the mainland.
At present, limitations on asylum-seekers are imposed on five islands close to the coast of Turkey, where strained refugee camps are trying to adjust with up to three times of greater number of arrivals than planned. More than 16,000 people are stuck there.
A group of 13 Greek human rights organizations, nevertheless, has blamed the government of paying no attention to the refugee rights.