Athens, August 26, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The government has failed to implement measures agreed by all parties six months ago to tackle the refugee crisis, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, during a meeting at the party’s new offices on Friday.
“I’m referring to the separation between refugees and economic migrants. The need to create pre-departure centers for the return of economic migrants to their countries of origin. I’m referring to the need to finally have a central planning for an organized and systematic distribution of refugees and economic migrants throughout the national territory,” Mitsotakis said.
“I’m sorry to find that on many of the issues on which there seemed to be an agreement with the government, we have not seen the necessary progress.”
On his side, Avramopoulos noted that Greece is under great pressure to tackle the issue. “The refugee issue and issues of security that dominate our wider geopolitical area render Greece a main pillar of stability in the wider region. This comparative advantage must be utilized by Greece in these difficult and pressing times,” he said.
The Commissioner also said he was pleased that in Greece despite public statements made from time to time, there is “a common understanding on how the refugee issue and security have to be tackled.”