Greece’s first so-called migrant hotspot on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos will start operating next week, Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said on Saturday, adding that another four screening centers will follow on other islands.
He made the announcement during a press conference in Athens to present EU policy on migration and refugee relocation, along with European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.
Mouzalas said it was key that the EU “applies the same criteria for all countries.”
In his comments, Avramopoulos said that a total of 160,000 refugees will be distributed among the bloc’s non-border nations. He said guest countries would be decided by experts at EU-staffed hotspots, and not the refugees.
“No country can shoulder this burden on its own. Europe will offer money and know-how,” said Asselborn.
The EU has so far spent 33 million euros on dealing with the migration crisis, officials said.