The European Union is not in a position to deal with a repeat of the migration crisis in 2015 and must try to keep people from fleeing the growing conflict in Afghanistan, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Wednesday.
Mitararchi, who last week co-signed a letter with ministers from five other EU countries saying deportations of failed asylum-seekers should continue despite the fighting, said ending such returns “would send the wrong message”.
“It would lead more people trying to leave and come to the European Union,” Mitarachi told Reuters.
However, the unity of the six signatories had already crumbled by Wednesday as both Germany and the Netherlands said they would not carry out deportations for the moment.
Mitarachi said the EU should offer more support to help Turkey mitigate the pressures of more migrant arrivals from Afghanistan and said the bloc could not absorb another crisis such as the one faced in 2015.
“Absolutely not, the EU is not ready and does not have the capacity to handle another major migration crisis,” he said.