CYPRUS: Nicosia wants EU to relocate a ‘significant number’ of migrants

Cypriot Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides will send a request to Brussels asking for a significant number of individuals granted protection in Cyprus be relocated to other EU countries.

He said there was an uncontrollable inflow of migrants from the Turkish-held occupied north of Cyprus to the government-controlled areas.

We are a country in the European Union that cannot control our northern borders and Frontex cannot patrol as in other countries, we cannot take the sort of measures that are taken by other countries,” said Petrides

He said this phenomenon has also become an issue for Turkish Cypriots in the north of the island adding that both himself and President Nicos Anastasiades have raised this issue in the EU Council of Ministers.

Nicosia will officially ask for a significant redistribution of these people in the absence of any permanent solution at a European level.

The aim is to stop, at least to some extent, the disproportionate burden on Cypruswe will then see to what extent the solidarity existing among the European countries on this issue is implemented, said Petrides.

He dismissed criticism about the way Cyprus is handling the issue, saying that Nicosia had managed to prevent a humanitarian crisis and to witness phenomena as in others EU countries that do not have the minimum number that we have.

Cyprus is now a frontline country for tackling irregular migration to Europe and the number of asylum seekers has continued to spike since 2016.

Cyprus has around 15,000 asylum seekers, making up about 4% of the island’s population with 1,000 new applications every month.

Source: The Financial Mirror