People holding up placards saying 'Welcome Refugees' as part of a demonstration in support of migrants in Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: EPA/ANTONIO COTRIM
People holding up placards saying 'Welcome Refugees' as part of a demonstration in support of migrants in Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: EPA/ANTONIO COTRIM

Portugal has signed a bilateral agreement with the Greek government to accept the relocation of refugees from Greece.

The Portuguese Minister of Internal Administration announced a bilateral agreement with the Greek government for the relocation of 100 refugees from Greece to Portugal. Following the pilot phase, the program will expand to cover the relocation of 1,000 refugees through 2019. 

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) announced details of the accord in a statement. The announcement came following a visit to Greece by the Portuguese Minister of Internal Administration. The two countries intend to submit the draft bilateral agreement to the European Commission to receive funding for the program. 

According to the minister, those covered by the agreement will first apply for asylum in Greece before being interviewed by Portuguese authorities with a view to being relocated and receiving refugee status there. 

Relocation numbers in Portugal 

According to data provided by the European Commission as of September 30, Portugal has received a total of 1,192 asylum seekers from Greece as part of the European Council Emergency Relocation Mechanism that was adopted in September 2015. Based on the relocation scheme, Portugal is required to relocate 1,778 people from Greece. 
 

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