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AG’s advice sought ahead of decisions on migration

Attorney-general Costas Clerides

The government on Friday sought the advice of Attorney-general Costas Clerides on the compatibility with the EU acquis of the measures to be taken to tackle the migration issue.

An inter-ministerial committee comprised by the ministers of interior, defence, the government spokesman and a representative of the foreign minister discussed the measures in question with Clerides.

President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday the measures would include areas for the accommodation of asylum seekers and in general, “restricting the number of asylum seekers.”

“Cyprus, between 2015 and 2019, experienced an increase in flow of 320 per cent,” Anastasiades said during statements at the presidential palace. He added that the influx had worsened as a result of Ankara’s policies along the Greek-Turkish border.

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said after the meeting at the legal service that the government wanted to make sure that any decisions it would make on the proposed procedures were legally airtight. He added that the procedures concerned among other things issues of shortening the process time for asylum applications.

“We have put before the attorney-general our own recommendations, the ways in which we recommend that this particular procedure will run, because […]we want to do things absolutely right both in terms of national law, and of course European law,” Nouris said.

He added that the legal service would study the government’s recommendations and would give its opinion soon.

The committee will meet again on Tuesday, under Anastasiades. They are expected to reach formal decisions on the measures to be taken. These decisions would then be submitted to the cabinet.

Clerides said that the legal service has been asked for its opinion on whether “the measures the competent ministries believe would help alleviate the problem of the migrant flows are compatible or not with the law and the EU acquis or if amendments must be made.”

The government said on Thursday it would prepare an action plan by early next week to tackle the growing influx of migrants, while the defence minister asked the European Union for support.

The migrant waves featured prominently at a session of the national council, chaired by Anastasiades.


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