Main opposition party SYRIZA on Wednesday criticized the government's plan for migration, which was announced on the same day by government spokesperson Stelios Petsas, and said that these measures "will not improve the situation at islands, neither will they bring better overall living conditions for migrants and refugees living there."
Specifically, SYRIZA condemned the New Democracy government for abolishing the ministry for migration and for delaying the migrants' relocation program by four months. This "created chaos at island hotspots and the number of migrants there skyrocketed from 15,000 in early July to the current 37,000," the party said.
The party also critiqued the government for "passing on the issue to four consecutive ministers," and for its pledge to have the situation fully under control within the next seven to eight months, which SYRIZA said it did not fulfill. "The only practical solution the government promises is a new reception and identification center at the island of Samos," which SYRIZA had begun and should have been opened by end-August, the party said.
"The government says having a maximum of 5,000 people at controlled hotspots is a solution," continued SYRIZA's statement, "but this essentially transforms the centers to prisons," it concluded.