Athens, February 23, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Greek Foreign minister Nikos Kotzias made a strong statement concerning the organization of the Conference in Vienna on the refugee problem.
“Tomorrow’s meeting in Vienna of the Austrian Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs and the countries of Western Balkans is another extra-institutional initiative that violates the letter and spirit of the EU treaties and international law on refugees.
The non-invitation of our country at this meeting is perceived as an unfriendly action, as there is the impression that some are trying, in our absence, to itinerary decisions that affect us directly.
Moreover, initiatives for the meeting of police officials of Schengen member states with police officials of the Western Balkans, only a few hours after the completion of the European Council and decisions, which are moving in the exact opposite direction from the decisions of European leaders demonstrate serious democracy deficit.
Police officials can not invalidate decisions of elected European leaders.
These actions are opposed to the European consultation and cooperation culture between all Member States and would prove ineffective, because they are attempting to tackle the problem gragmentary and with ostrich reasoning.
Greece is making huge efforts to face a refugee and humanitarian crisis, with respect to European values and the provisions of international law. It will continue to walk in the coherence and the European Union’s vision in mind, while continuing to emphasise to all parties the need to combat the causes of the crisis and not those who suffer it.