“Today, the relocation program in other European countries has just reached the 0.17% of its implementation. The EU – Turkey agreement has not started, and the same happens with the readmission agreements for refugees who do not have right to submit for asylum”, government sources said in Athens Friday evening.
By a Non- paper release the Greek Prime Minister’s office noted that
“Greece has repeatedly stressed that on this stage of the refugee crisis, only a United Europe by a common policy of solidarity and humanism can manage the problem effectively. The blame game has no practical effect. Success can only be implement by the full commitments of all sides. This is the position that has the support of the majority of the EU member countries and the European institutions “.
The Non Paper strongly emphasizes “despite the common EU engagement in refugee crisis response, a number of Central European countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), are trying to devise a different policy on a completely different direction, by the following characteristics:
- Closing borderS between European countries to refugees in violation of the humanitarian principles and solidarity which are the signatories to the framework of the European institutions.
- Continuing unacceptable pressure on Greece to depart from the rules of international law and stop the refugees rescues in the sea area.
- Lobbying the EU to close the Greece’s borders .
- Depositing “ideas” unrelated to any notion of humanitarian management of the refugee and unthinkable for the European value framework.
These proposals, the Non Paper continues:
- Incorporate an unacceptable extreme right xenophobic rhetoric, unprecedented in European politics.
- They aim to create buzz for domestic political consumption.
- They distract the common European policy on a hugely important issue.
The government estimates that “European reaction against such political behavior is still not required”but calls for a more decisive answer in this regard stressing that it is currently necessary for Europe to address the issue in the way that has been decided.
“Neither refugee flows can be stifling, nor the refugees can be treated with fences, closed borders and camps.
Decisive implementation of the European decisions and the agreement with Turkey is the only way for a humane and inclusive management of the refugee issue.
Our country is leading the fight to implement a policy similar to the humanitarian face of Europe and prevent the fragmentation of the European area and the far right regression ” concludes the statement of the Prime Minister’s office .
Earlier in Friday, February 5, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received in his office in Athens visiting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere.
Greece will honour its commitments regarding the management of the refugee crisis and underlined that everyone must honour their commitments.
Alexis Tsipras said after the meeting and added that Greece was bearing a huge burden, at a time of great economic difficulty,though the highest cost, he said, have been the lives lost at sea.
“We are talking about numbers when we refer to flow. For us an important number is that of those who have lost their life in the Aegean. We must not believe that this tragedy is something that simply happens that we can do nothing about to make it stop. Our first priority is our duty as human beings, to stop the tragedy in the Aegean,” he said, in statements before the cameras.
In statements after the meeting with Tsipras, Cazeneuve said that the goal was to restrict refugees flows “because Europe can’t accept such a large number of refugees in 2016, as that which passed through the EU’s external borders the previous year.
He said that France will contribute 60 police officers to Frontex, who will come to Greece, and also use 18 expert staff specialising in identifying fake documents, to assist Greek authorities.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who was also visiting the Greek PM office had earlier told his country’s media that
Germany will be sending two coast guard boats, and gradually 100 employees, to Greece from March 1 to support government efforts to secure the EU’s external borders
The German Minister who has expressed his wishes to maintain solidarity in Europe has noted that the aim should be to do everything possible in order to maintain the right to free movement in Europe, with the participation of Greece.”
“We must all contribute and those who are under more pressure due to their geographical position, like Greece, deserve the support of Europe,” Maziere has said.
“We all have to do our homework, the European Commission and member-states,” he said, adding that that all parties should “honor agreements and European law,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had told Kathimerini in a written interview.