Starting in Athens, the Home Secretary met with Minister of Citizens’ Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis, where they reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to work together to address the challenges Greece and the UK face from terrorism and organised crime.
She also met with Shipping and Island Policy Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis, discussing Greece’s response to the scale and threat posed by small boat crossings in the Aegean and the involvement of organised immigration crime gangs in those crossings.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
We have seen a surge in illegal migration across Europe, and we must continue to work closely with Greek partners to tackle this challenge that both our countries face.
Only by working together can we break up these crime gangs that extend throughout Europe and beyond, and stop the horrific trade in people across the continent.
The government continues to take steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration through the Nationality & Borders Bill which will protect lives and break this cycle of illegal migration.
The Home Secretary then travelled to the island of Samos with Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis where she went out on patrol with the Hellenic Coastguard.
She heard first-hand accounts of those working on the front line and an overview of the methods the Hellenic Coastguard are using to save lives at sea whilst also preventing small boats illegally entering Greek waters.
On Wednesday morning, she visited a newly constructed reception centre for migrants on the island, hearing from Minister Mitarakis about the latest asylum reforms the Greek government had brought forward. Before departing, the Home Secretary also met with Minister of State Gerapetritis.