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Government seeking to change Green Line rules to halt migrant flow from north

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides

The government is gearing up to change aspects of the 2004 Green Line Regulation to address the increased migration flows from the north, it emerged on Wednesday.

The EU regulation sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross the Green Line between the two sides.

The issue was discussed at the House institution committee in the presence of Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides and the police leadership.

Speaking after the meeting, Petrides said he had the opportunity to explain to deputies the measures being taken to better control migration. But, he said two thirds of migrants coming in were crossing from the north.

“We need to improve the procedures, whether they are judicial, or involve expulsion and return,” he said.

In particular the Green Line Regulation, he said, was an issue and it needed to be made more restrictive for third-country nationals to cross. Petrides said they were taking advantage of the 90-day return period to claim asylum.

The committee heard that the main problem was with the arrival of irregular migrants from Africa, and especially from countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria, who arrive by air in the north from Ankara.

MPs were in agreement that more restrictive measures were needed, and it was decided to continue discussions behind closed doors so that more confidential details can be given to them as to the extent of the problem and how it was being dealt with.



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