Cyprus Mail

EU officials due in Cyprus to help ease migration pressure

Officials from European services and agencies are expected to arrive on the island in the coming days in view of easing the increased pressure of migration to Cyprus, the European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday.

Practical, operational and financial assistance from the EU will be granted to Cyprus, Avramopoulos said, noting that efforts will begin immediately as time was an additional pressure in view of the end of the period marked by the upcoming European elections in May.

Speaking at a meeting in the presence of the Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, and Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, Avramopoulos said that European officials from Europol, the European asylum support service, as well as from the European boarder and coast guard agency will be arriving in Cyprus soon.

“The situation in Cyprus is becoming increasingly worrying,” Petrides told Avramopoulos. “Incoming flows are increasingly constantly to the point where they are becoming very hard to manage.”

In the first months of 2019, asylum applications exceeded 1,000 per month, Petrides said, highlighting the problem of incoming flows through the north of Cyprus.

Petrides asserted that the increased flows indicate the need for the creation of an additional reception centre for asylum seekers.

Cyprus also requires “access to information systems on matters relating to state security in view of the prevention of dangers arising from radicalisation,” Petrides added.
“Cyprus is not alone in dealing with the problems it faces,” Avramopoulos said, “we are all at her side, as am I personally.”

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