Disy had warned the ‘situation’ in Gaza would affect the migration crisis, party leader Annita Demetriou said on Tuesday, as she called for a collective approach within the EU to tackle Cyprus’ “disproportionate burden.”

Demetriou also urged the government to speed up asylum application processing time, and called on the EU to strike a deal with “African countries and other third countries” to systematically readmit migrants.

“It is clearly preferable for the EU to invest in African countries to contain the local population rather than investing resources in hospitality and reception, while preventing loss of life at sea,” she said

Demetriou reiterated the call to designate parts of Syria safe “so as to lift the automatic legal protection” that Syrian nationals currently have, which does not allow any country to send people back to Syria.

But she stressed efforts to tackle the migration crisis should not have policies of intolerance.

The party leader called for more Frontex patrols, an EU-wide plan for neighbouring countries and countries of origin (including Lebanon) and its effective implementation.

She specified there should be a re-evaluation of the Dublin Agreement with equal sharing of responsibility and more solidarity with the countries of first reception regarding the relocation of migrants.

Closer to home, Demetriou stressed the importance of having special teams to detect illegal employment.

Additionally, “for those whose application is approved, i.e. a very small percentage, integration policies should be in place to avoid ghettoisation phenomena.”

Demetriou also called for more effective policing of Cyprus’ coast and Green Line.

“We must stress that the instrumentalisation of the migration issue by Turkey and the demographic change that is taking place in our occupied parts reinforce the need for vigilance and measures and for strengthening our efforts for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.”