A new asylum strategy was announced by the government in Athens yesterday, aimed at decongesting the Aegean islands of up to 37,000 migrants and refugees who have been stranded there awaiting processing of their asylum applications.
The discussion about the changes to Greece’s constitution are in full flow ahead of next week’s vote on the revision, which is set to decouple the election of the country’s president from possible snap general elections.
After a tense few days around Sunday’s commemorative protest march in Athens, the government is turning its attention back to Parliament, where the latest tax bill and the final stage of the constitutional revision are at the top of the political agenda.
The government has been put on the defensive as a result of a couple of reports in the international media, while Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has had to step up efforts to improve North Macedonia’s chances of being allowed to start its European Union accession process, a far cry from New Democracy’s fierce opposition to the Prespes Agreement just months ago.
Government and opposition in Greece are once again facing off over law and order in universities, in a debate which ranges from civil rights to terrorism.
The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Athens led to the signing of wide-ranging agreements on Monday, a move the Greek government hopes will mark the start of a new era in relations with Beijing.
After facing several days of consistent pressure over the refugee issue, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is attempting to shift the political debate to matters where he believes New Democracy has a stronger footing: Investment, tax relief and law and order.
On the same day it unveiled its much-trumpeted second tax bill, the government also put to public consultation on Thursday a draft law concerning the energy sector as a period of intense legislative activity gets underway.
The government’s latest tax bill is due to be put to public consultation on Thursday, providing New Democracy with a welcome, but likely brief, break from the intense discussion about the refugee challenge facing Greece.
The Greek government has been trying to assuage concerns about the transfer of migrants from the Aegean islands following more strong reactions by some local residents in mainland areas New Democracy wants to use to relieve the pressure on the larger refugee centres.