Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on November 22 reportedly said that the country is hiring approximately 400 border guards to shut the door for migrants who are not entitled to stay. He told the parliament that the guards will be deployed at Greece's land border with Turkey and almost 800 guards for its islands. The country is also expected to upgrade its sea patrolling operations. The announcement comes as the migrant and refugee arrivals from neighbouring Turkey has risen again and more than 37,000 people are crammed into facilities on islands which operate far beyond the capacity.
On Wednesday the country also announced plans to overhaul its migration management system. They reportedly will be replacing overcrowded refugee camps on the islands with smaller detention facilities and moving approximately 20,000 asylum seekers to the mainland. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) further raised concerns over the new centres as they believe that the detention centres may provide better living condition but it could eventually turn into prisons for people who seek safety. According to international media reports, the people detained will not have the freedom to exit the facilities and the non-governmental organisations will have no access inside.
Deputy Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis who announce the plan said, “In the short term, we will return security and control to the areas affected by the crisis. Normal life will return to these areas and measures will be taken to safeguard them from future threats, with an emphasis placed on deterrence.”
The plan changes are considered to be the most significant since a landmark deal in 2016 between Turkey and the European Union to limit migration to Europe. The conservative government has vowed to step up deportations of migrants to separate refugees from migrants and speed up the processing of asylum applications. The Human Rights group and the Amnesty International has, however, criticized the government plans as they feel that the migrants fleeing away war zones may lose access to proper asylum screening.