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We are trying to meet the target of 200 migrant returns per week, Petsas says

Featured We are trying to meet the target of 200 migrant returns per week, Petsas says

Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Monday in an interview with MEGA TV that SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is accusing others of the performance of his government.

Regarding the refugee / migration issue, the government spokesman said that the problem has worsened both in our country and in Europe, and this is not due to refugees but economic migrants and sent a clear message: "There is no room for economic migrants in Greece. As regards refugees, we protect them. The profile of the people who come here has changed. The refugee crisis of 2015 has changed and we are now talking about mainly migratory flows rather than refugees."

At the same time, he said that under the new law, asylum procedures will be completed in 24 days, while refugee procedures will be accelerated with the hiring of another 500 lawyers.

"We are optimistic. Returns are made every Friday. We are trying to reach the target we have set, that is, 200 returns per week over the next three months," he added.

On the economy, the government spokesman reiterated the prime minister's statement that good news will be announced gradually and said the reduction in the solidarity levy will be significant. "We are committed to abolishing the solidarity levy by the end of this government's term. But we see that there is fiscal room for making it earlier. It will probably happen in the second half" he said.

"We are claiming fiscal room from three sources and have already put it on the table. This year we are claiming fiscal room by changing the use of ANFAs and SNPs, that is, the profits of the bonds held by central banks. That's a huge amount, it is about 1.2 billion. We are also talking about a change in the recording of spending on migration flows, so that they are excluded from the surplus target. In agreement with our partners, expenditure on refugee-migrants should not be taken into account in the surplus target. And a third source is the so-called "smoothing mechanism", that is, exceeding the 3.5 pct target set in 2019 - and we believe that part of it or most of it should be used in 2020 for tax reductions, always in consultion with our partners. For 2021, we have already said that the primary surplus target will be reduced," he said.