Athens, March 22, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The immediate address of the dramatic situation in Idomeni, with the transfer of refugees in shelters promised the Deputy Minister of Immigration Policy Giannis Mouzalas, speaking in Parliament, replying to a question of the New Democracy.
“Idomeni will dissipate peacefully within the next month”, said the minister and admitted that the government has avoided to create a camp in the region as conditions which would have developed would be similar to those found in Calais, France. “If we created a camp, then Idomeni would be the new Calais”, he said.
However, Mouzalas admitted that the situation with the hosting of refugees-immigrants is chaotic and that the government is trying to bring order.
“Problems will arise if we do not put order to chaos. We will make it however. We are shaping the map. We are building 500-1000 hosting positions per day. So far we have made 36,000 position”, he said, to add that the rent subsidy measure has not worked and that its replacement is being examined, in addition to the fact that in the near future will be submitted the legislation for the participation of local authorities in the management of infrastructure projects for the refugees.
Mouzalas also confessed that the recent EU – Turkey Agreement is extremely difficult to implement and that the NATO presence in the Aegean failed to reduce refugee flows. “We did not want NATO to come. It had to come when the thing came to a head point. Did NATO have an effect? Not in reducing the flows. What did it do; That the blame game against Greece stopped and the weight fell on Turkey”, he said to make a reference to the recent Agreement. “The recent Agreement is good. I ask for your help in its implementation. It is very difficult Agreement for any government. You know the problems of the state aparatus. It’s the best deal we could have achieved”.
Mouzalas said that at this time there are about 50,000 refugees and immigrants in the country and that there has been no increase in crime and vibrant health problems because there is a strong presence of ELAS and KEELPNO.
Also, with his intervention Interior minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis attempted to respond to those who accuse the government of being absent from Idomeni. “In Idomeni there is an informal center with 12,000 people. Has a problem arisen that demonstrates the absence of the state? The police presence is the absence of state? The presence of KEELPNO 24/7 is the absence of state?”, he said.
Earlier, ND unleashed a fierce attack on the government, questioning the effectiveness of the recent EU – Turkey Agreement and commenting on the presence of Turkish officials in the eastern Aegean islands.
“In the north there are closed – sealed borders and shame, the shame – “Dachau” according to P. Kouroumplis – of Idomeni. In Eastern NATO borders, Frontex, thousands of immigrants and Turkish officials”, Giorgos Koumoutsakos said, to describe “the big picture”. The ND spokesman claimed that the country is “under international supervision” and that “Idomeni and camps in Piraeus are symbols of failed government policy”. Referring to the recent EU-Turkey Agreement, he said that “it is complicated, complex and alarmingly vague. It would be difficult to implement and its inefficient application will turn the country into a permanent settlement of refugees and immigrants”.
Addressing G. Mouzalas personally, he asked “how are you going to handle the case with the Turkish officer who has stamped travel documents from the Cyprus occupied territories, the enslaved Cyprus?”. To continue saying that “I would like to think that in the momentum of your speech you will not call it the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Subsequently, Olga Kefalogianni spoke of “disappointing” presence of the government in decision-making and accused the Maximos Mansion as solely responsible for the dramatic situation in Idomeni.