Avramopoulos: “There is no issue of closing EU borders’

Avramopoulos: “There is no issue of closing EU borders’

Brussels, January 25, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

“There is no issue of closing the EU’s borders”, Dimitris Avramopoulos said in an interview with MEGA television, stressing that Greece is not alone on the management of the migration crisis. “We do not agree with what is being written on the Schengen. The Member States however, have to assume their responsibilities. If the Schengen collapses then the whole European project will start to collapse as well”, Avramopoulos stressed, noting that there is not going to be a discussion on Schengen. “If Europe starts its (Schengen) unraveling then we will go to the next step and Europe will never allow that”, he said.

The Commissioner for Immigration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said that lately Greece is heavily critisized by many countries for the delays in the creation of the hot spots. “According to the government’s commitments in five entry points will be set up mixed staffs that will have the job of assessing each case and give the information they collect to the European Authorities for use on the relocation. If these had been done from the beginning we would have avoided the summer incidents”, Avramopoulos said, making it clear that Europe supports Greece. “Of late, Greece is moving rapidly”, he said, reminding that in four weeks, at the Summit of Heads of State, the government will have to present what has been done.

“Currently, under the pressure of the crisis, in Europe we all have enormous responsibilities to preserve this great achievement”, Avramopoulos said.

In his interview Dimitris Avramopoulos pointed out that those who are not entitled to international protection will be returned to their countries. Regarding Turkey, the Commissioner stressed that the agreement that has been signed between Greece and Turkey is not kept. He expressed however the hope that after the signing of the Agreement between Turkey and the EU this will change.

The Greek commissioner said that the EU has initiated a “war” with the traffickers and presented an action plan aimed at stifling refugee flows. “If this is applied the pressure towards Greece will be eased”, he said and referred to the creation of a common coastguard and borderguard that will be made up of executives and infrastructure of all EU member states. “Those who invade are not enemies, we are talking about people and refugees. The issue of joint patrols with Turkey was never on the table. The fact that there must be a cooperation goes without saying. None can neither request nor to impose it. Already the Greek and the Turkish Coast Guard work together to save people”, said the Greek Commissioner and expressed his concern about the racist voices raised in Europe.

“The phenomenon of the rise of extremist  xenophobic nationalist movements is worrying. They are gaining ground because they are exploit the crisis. The answer is a coherent holistic policy for all matters for man and the citizen. This century will be characterized as the century of human migration shift. The global community needs to address this phenomenon with policies. Europe is doing what it must do. Within six months it adopted two policies on security and migration. Now it is up to the member states which have sole responsibility for their implementation. They are play with the internal political agenda to achieve political gains. If we do not protect the european institutions, if the member states are nor forced to implement the policies and do not stop blaming each other, we have the means to achieve it”, was the message of Greek Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.