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Greece Resolves Refugee Problem, Ready to Accept Tourists

© AFP 2021 / LOUISA GOULIAMAKITourists take pictures while visiting the Acropolis in Athens on April 3, 2015
Tourists take pictures while visiting the Acropolis in Athens on April 3, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Helena Kundura said that Greece and the Greek islands are ready to accept tourists.

Refugees and migrants walk after disembarking from passenger ferry Blue Star1 at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, February 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Greece has resolved its refugee problem and is now ready to welcome tourists again, Greek Deputy Tourism Minister Helena Kundura said on Thursday.

"It is known that Greece has been and remains a safe country. Last year, we faced a situation that was unexpected but I think that Greece has fulfilled its duty with honor and resolved the situation. Now, Europe and Turkey must take on the burden and fulfill their duties… I can state that Greece and the Greek islands are ready to accept tourists," Kundura told reporters during the ongoing Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT), which marks the opening of the 2016 tourist season.

Migrants rest on an embankment of the port while waiting to be registered at the southeastern island of Kos, Greece, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The European Union is currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The EU border agency Frontex recorded more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the bloc in 2015.

Greece is the main transit route for refugees coming across the Aegean Sea from Turkey, and has been affected most by the migrant crisis. Since the beginning of 2016, over 147,000 migrants have arrived in Greece out of a total of some 160,000 arrivals to Europe via the Mediterranean, according to the international Organization for Migration.

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