Athens, September 15, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
During his intervention at the EU General Affairs Council held in Brussels, the Deputy Foreign Minister Spyridon Flogaitis focused on the issue of addressing the refugee crisis and immigration.
The Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out that the crisis has taken a heavy toll and stressed that the loss of human lives and the lives of young children in particular at Greece’s borders, which are EU borders, is unacceptable.
Flogaitis assured his counterparts that Greece is making every effort to safeguard the external borders of Europe and expressed confidence that on the issue of border control, we can, if we work together, to all be more effective.
At the same time, he pointed out that all parties should pay particular attention to respect for international and humanitarian law, as Europe is currently facing an exceptional situation and an unprecedented wave of refugees.
The Deputy Foreign Minister continued saying that an issue of this magnitude cannot be tackled by individual member states, adding that it takes a comprehensive strategy to tackle the causes of migration and refugee crisis.
He stressed that Greece will always participate constructively in any decision process that meets the principles shaped by European culture, and which we all have to serve.
Concluding, Flogaitis spoke of the urgency of the problem and the need to have direct tangible and definitive results. If this is not immediately possible and urgent pending issues are not addressed, he stressed, then there could be – as suggested the German side; an immediately convening of a joint meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice and Home Affairs (composition Jumbo). Regardless, however, of the above, Greece, Flogaitis underlined, considers it necessary to convene a summit as soon as possible, which will take decisions and put rules in relation to the exceptional situation that has arisen.
After the end of the intervention of the Deputy Foreign Minister, the President of the General Affairs Council, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, speaking to Flogaitis, stressed emphatically that the EU is united by the side of Greece and will do whatever is necessary, in order to support the country.
In the margins of the General Affairs Council, Flogaitis had successive meetings with the First Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bert Koenders, and the Deputy Ministers for European Affairs of Germany, Michael Roth, of France, Harlem Desir, and Romania, George Ciamba.
Mouzalas: We expect solidarity from the European States
“We expect to stand with responsibility and solidarity against the issue; we will not turn our country into a vast refugee camp”, said the Deputy Minister of Migration Policy Yannis Mouzala, in the extraordinary EU Home Affairs Council on the refugee issue.
Welcoming the enhanced package of relocation measures presented by the European Commission, Greece pledged to utilise the technical and financial assistance of the European Union.
The deputy minister stressed that Greece will fulfill all administrative and operational commitments to immediately begin the process of resettlement of refugees in other Member – States.
“The only solution is the joint action in the context of the European experience of rights, solidarity and Enlightenment. In an extremely difficult economic situation, the Greek people have shown practical solidarity with the growing waves of refugees who arrive in our country. We expect the corresponding display of solidarity by the other European countries”, Yannis Mouzalas said.