Athens, December 17, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The state of the works on the Reception and Identification Centre (hotspot) of Chios inspected the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who visited the island, along with the Deputy Minister of Immigration Policy John Mouzala. Shortly before 18:30 the Prime Minister and completed the visit to Leros, where he likewise inspected the progress of the works for the hotspot there.
In his statements after the inspections in Chios, Alexis Tsipras said that “Greece has managed to meet and fulfill its obligations under difficult conditions but now it is the turn of the other Europeans to realize their own obligations and proceed with the issue of relocation of 66,000 refugees, which has been agreed that should be relocated from Greece to other EU countries, mainly of the center and the north”.
The Prime Minister stressed that the process hasn’t essentially advance, as so far less than 100 refugees have been relocated, noting that the said countries have not implemented their commitments to greet them.
He further urged Brussels to contribute substantially to the matter of the “readmission under the agreements the EU has signed with third countries for the return to those countries, of the immigrants who do not qualify as refugees and therefore can’t pass to Central Europe”.
“Third – Tsipras stressed – there should be an assessment of the results of the EU-Turkey Agreement, which we applauded – he noted – recognizing the fact that money should be given to help (Turkey), but at the same time Turkey must help reduce the flow of refugees and immigrants”, apparently implying that the things that have been agreed haven’t been done.
The prime minister said that 10-15000 refugees and immigrants arrive daily in the Greek islands and noted that all the above are necessary in order for the country to be able to treat these people in a humane way and with dignity.
Finally, he said that the islands are facing a historic juncture and take on their shoulders the weight of all of Europe, thanking the authorities, the residents and the coast guard for their contribution.
The Reception and Identification Centre in Chios is created in the site of the former factory of VIAL and, according to information, 20 cabins have already been installed, with the aim to install a total of 75, which will be able to accommodate a total of 1,112 refugees.
Accordingly, the hotspot in Leros is being developed in the psychiatric hospital, while the 900 refugees who are now on the island are staying at present in a specially designed area with large tents in the harbour.
The MPs Messrs Michaelides and Mitarakis, the deputy prefect Mr Karmantzis, the mayor Manolis Vournikas and the metropolitan of Chios, Markos, were those who greeted the Prime Minister on the island. Tsipras, in turn, congratulated the local government for the way in which they have dealt with the crisis up to now, given the disproportion between the size of the island and the weight it is required to lift.
Immediately after his visit to the islands, the prime minister left for Brussels to attend the European Council meeting.