Greece’s government promised on Tuesday to toughen the asylum application procedure for migrants, expand detention powers, and speed up deportations as the country struggles to cope with a surge in new arrivals.
The 250-page draft legislation submitted to parliament also calls for tougher criteria in assessing asylum claims, AP reports. “People should know that they cannot come to Greece, apply for asylum and stay in the country forever,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.
A surge in arrivals of migrants and refugees over the summer has put a severe strain on Greek islands near the Turkish coast.
The government is expanding a network of camps on the Greek mainland, arguing that tougher policing is needed to make the new system work. Human rights groups say the proposed new rules are too restrictive.