ATHENS, Greece – European Union officials say that Greece's first migrant processing center will open over the next 10 days, allowing migrants and refugees to be flown to other EU countries — mostly of their preference — and have their asylum applications processed there.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner, said the first center will open on the island of Lesbos, with up to four more on other Greek islands. Tens of thousands of people fleeing war or poverty have landed in Greece, the main gateway of migrants crossing into the EU from neighboring Turkey. Most want to travel on to other European countries like Germany.
Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn, who traveled to Italy and Greece with Avramopoulos, said it was extremely important to strengthen Europe's external borders.