Athens, December 14, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Greece is paying third party decisions regarding the refugee issue, argued yesterday the Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias and said that his previous statements for the jihadists wee distorted.
Speaking on the television show «MEGA weekend”, Kotzias said that the problem relating to refugees in view of the new tourist season of 2016, will mainly have to be dealt with in the islands that receive the bulk of refugees, by making a special campaign. “I think the competent minister Elena Kountoura is taking steps in this direction”, he said, arguing that Greece is paying third party decisions.
“We neither wanted to go to war with Syria, Iraq, nor did we want to intervene.
That is what we are trying to explain to our partners. Beyond there needs to be consultations with Turkey. I remind you that our partners were to receive 150,000 refugees from Greece and finally Luxembourg got 30,000. There is no financial support”, Nikos Kotzias said. “I estimate to EUR 1.8 to 2 billion the expenses we have made directly or indirectly throughout the year for the transportation, accommodation and nutrition of refugees”, he added.
Regarding the influx of refugees from Morocco, Kotzias noted that there are too many criminals among immigrants who come from this country. He stressed that they fly with low cost to Istanbul and that they should not let them unchecked at the airport.
“There is a legal issue regarding Frontex, which we have brought to the Commission itself, that the statute provides for preventing entry into a country, not exiting”, he said, noting that instead of working all day it closed at 14:00 and did not work on weekends.
He underlined that Turkey, Greece and Germany have the most interest regarding the refugee crisis and continued saying: “We will take an initiative, inviting Merkel and Erdogan in Chios, and what’s more after that we plan to cross to Izmir to see both sides. The invitation will be ours. The date has not been set yet. I assume the tripartite will take place in early February”, revealed the Greek PM, and noted that the goal is to make consultations directly with Turkey and not through third parties.
The government can do better
Referring to the course of the government, the head of Greek diplomacy underlined that it can do better, but is doing much better than their predecessors. “If it wasn’t for the Agreement of 2010 we would not be facing the problems we face today. I don’t see the government facing a “leakage” issue. What I believe is that it is good to have rallies, because a society should not be silent. Many aspects of the Agreement are necessarily and not by choice”, he said.
As regards any governmental cooperation Kotzias noted, inter alia, that if a party wants to support the Greek society it is welcome. “What we don’t want in the government is some other policy that wants to change ours”, he added, and noted that the country lacks the political culture of dialogue.
Greece was and is in a way a debt colony. “There is external audit combined with the way the European Union is developing, and there are politicians who place as a higher priority in their minds what some foreign power says, and not what the country needs”, he said.