Cyprus to launch tougher illegal migration measures

Cyprus Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said the government will soon introduce a new migration policy to tackle the growing influx of illegal migrants and asylum seekers.

He said the percentage of migrants in Cyprus stands at 3.8% of the population while other frontline countries like Greece and Italy receive around 1%.

Nouris described the situation in Cyprus as critical, pointing out that measures need to be taken.

He has briefed his EU counterparts on the situation in Cyprus and the pressure it is under from new asylum seekers.

He said the new strategy to be drafted by his Ministry will be rational and take into consideration human rights.

Nouris said that there is a flow through the island’s dividing line adding that the major problem is economic migrants and not the refugees.

He added that contacts have been made in the EU and Cyprus authorities were given reassurances that support will be given as regards resettlement and the return of migrants.

Nouris did not elaborate on what the measure would be taken but it is understood Cyprus will get EU help in establishing reception centres for fast-tracking asylum claims to reduce the backlog.

The government has beefed up security along the Green Line and said it would also bring in measures to turn back third-country nationals who entered the country illegally from the Turkish-held north.

Source: The Financial Mirror