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01-11-2023 15:09

Statements by the Government Spokesman after the meeting on migration

The Government Spokesman, Mr Konstantinos Letymbiotis, made statements after the meeting on migration.

During his statements the Government Spokesman mentioned the following:

“The meeting under the President of the Republic regarding the briefing on the effective management of the migration issue has been concluded. The meeting, with the participation of the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Justice and Public Order, the Minister of Labour and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, involved the exchange of views on the effective management of migration to maintain the positive situation observed these past few months, especially considering recent developments in the region. 

One very important aspect, acknowledged by the Republic of Cyprus, is the approval of the EU Action Plan for the Eastern Mediterranean Migration route. Cyprus has been one of the leading countries in formulating this plan, and we will support as much as we can the effective and immediate implementation of all its provisions to keep up with the positive results of the recent months.

Starting today, November 1st, an additional 25 examiners have been hired, resulting in double the number of the examiners. It is known that the applications’ examination period has been reduced to one to three months and we have also set up a cross-departmental team to make recommendations so that Cyprus becomes a less attractive destination for migrants.

The President of the Republic has been informed about the results of checks conducted to track down illegal labour, and these checks will be intensified in the immediate future. What is considered very important and prioritised is the establishment of a Deputy Ministry of Migration. Therefore, we once again call on the House of Representatives to embrace the priority of the issue of migration, especially during this period, and approve its establishment as soon as possible. It is, in fact, a proposal of the bill submitted to the House of Representatives since the summer. We call on the House of Representatives to complete the bill’s review and pass it into law.”

The Government Spokesman then answered to press questions.

When asked if any additional decisions were made today besides those announced yesterday at the meeting of the Ministry of Interior, Mr Letymbiotis stated: “The President of the Republic has been briefed by the Minister of Interior.  The meeting you are referring to was an interdepartmental meeting, and the Minister of Interior duly briefed the President of the Republic on a series of proactive measures to be taken in case they need to be activated. Some other precautionary measures or decisions have been taken that will be activated if necessary.

There will soon be an announcement from the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare regarding the regulations concerning the Minimum Guaranteed Income, for individuals under the status of political refugees. Presently, they are entitled to apply from the first day they are in our country under that status, whereas for Cypriot citizens or European citizens, a period of five years must elapse. This regulation is now more balanced, providing equal treatment regarding the Minimum Guaranteed Income. At the same time, we will continue to closely monitor developments. You can understand that the situation in our region is unstable, therefore we are closely monitoring developments to be able to take promptly any necessary measures.”