World News

Greece aims to speed up migration policy under new ministry

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece said on Wednesday that migration policy will be implemented faster from now on by a new ministry as the country struggles with a resurgence of migrant and refugee arrivals.

Until now, migration issues were managed by a department of the country’s Civil Protection Ministry.

The new conservative government, elected in July, announced plans to shut overcrowded refugee camps on Greek islands and replace them with more restrictive holding centres, mostly on the mainland.

It has promised to deploy more border guards to “shut the door” to migrants not entitled to stay.

“What is needed is a faster implementation of this plan,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told state TV ERT.

The government appointed deputy Labour Social Affairs Minister Notis Mitarachi as head of the new Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Susan Fenton