Minister wants faster results to buffer migrant flows

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Interior Minister Nicos Nouris is frustrated at delays in recruiting 300 extra guards and instal Green Line surveillance to curb migrant flows from the Turkish-occupied north.

On government plans to hire 300 special police to patrol the ceasefire line, Nouris said he’s not satisfied with the pace of the placing natural obstacles nor the formation of this monitoring group.

“I believe that matters of national necessity highlight the need to override certain procedures while observing the law.

“Poland in just six months has completed the construction of a 165-kilometre long and 6 metres high fence; it is not logical for Cyprus, which is facing a disproportionately bigger problem, to move at such pace.”

Cyprus seeks to instal surveillance cameras across the Green Line and place physical barriers to stop irregular migrants from entering.

Nouris said Cyprus respects human rights but called for more support from the European Union on the disproportionate migration burden the country is facing.

In the first five months of 2022, Cyprus received over 11,000 asylum applications, with the authorities saying the majority come from Turkey via the Green Line dividing the island.

He said that before “pointing the finger” at a front-line member state, Brussels should instead address Turkey, which “is the source of the problem.”

“Turkey has systematically instrumentalised migration in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, Nouris said; the EU should make representations to Turkey before making any remarks on Greece.”

Nouris said he did not want to comment on the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs warning Greece over illegal pushbacks, stating that Cyprus is one of the front-line member states facing a serious problem with “the dimension of a flood.”

“We are doing what is humanly possible,” he said, adding that Cyprus rightly seeks more EU support.

He argued, “there is no other way other than curbing migration flows via the Green Line and maximising migrants’ re-admissions and deportations”.