The plan for examining refugee asylum applications that is backed by the German government suggests that at least the biggest of Greece’s European partners are prepared to shoulder part of the burden of the refugee crisis for obvious reasons.

The country in which migrants first enter the EU will conduct the initial review and then asylum applicants will be sent to other EU countries which will conduct an exhaustive review of their applications.

Implementation of the plan is of critical importance for Greece, which is now facing a substantial rise in refugee and migrant flows as compared to last year.

The success of the plan will depend on various factors including the readiness of the Greek government to manage the crisis and the efficiency and effectiveness of competent authorities.

The requisite readiness cannot be taken for granted.

New Democracy came to power without fundamental preparation for handling the problem.

As a consequence, one saw the government running around in circles for many mmonths even as the problem burgeoned and took on explosive dimensions.

The government finally seemed to become aware of its error and proceeded to re-establish the ministry of migration policy, which it had abolished after coming to power.

Now the government is obliged to sprint.

The statement of the competent minister that the government will be “ready by spring” must not remain a dead letter.