Athens, September 2, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The need for the immediate convening of the Summit of Heads of State to address the refugee problem reiterated the Greek President, welcoming the interim foreign minister Petros Molyviatis on Tuesday. Pavlopoulos stressed that the migration issue goes beyond Greece and that all of Europe gives exams.
“As a country we have not always responded to the commitments which we had”, said the President, but noted that “we must all realise and understand that there have never been such migration flows in the past”.
“The problems are not due only to the weakness of the Greek state machine, but in a kind of force majeure, which prevents us to meet our obligations”, he added.
Pavlopoulos stressed that Europe must as well realise that right now it has obligations, because the issue cannot be addressed by member states alone, particularly those facing the greatest migratory flows.
“It’s a safety issue but, more importantly, a question of humanity. Europe cannot ignore it, with the principles and values it has”, stressed the President and pointed out that since 2008 there is the Agreement on Immigration and Asylum.
Indeed, he said that “this Agreement lists and describes the policy of Europe” and stressed the need to be activated and implemented. He also recalled the convening of the meeting of ministers of interior and justice of the EU, with an agenda devoted to migration, on September 14.
Referring to Molyviatis, the President made particular reference to his experience and character and thanked him warmly for accepting to take over the foreign ministry, stressing that it would help a lot in these critical times for the country.
Molyviatis thanked the President for the warm reception, saying that he would like to inform him about certain aspects of foreign policy, notably aspects of the migration problem, which, he said, has gotten out of proportion.
At the same time, the foreign minister recalled the interest of Pavlopoulos on the migration problem, noting that it was he who laid the foundations for the formulation of a migration policy in the country, in his capacity as interior minister.
Flogaitis invited to the Presidential Mansion
Later, foreign minister Spyros Flogaitis also went to the Presidential Deputy. In the dialogue the two men had on front of the cameras, the President reiterated that Greece’s borders are European borders, saying the immediate activation of FRONTEX is needed, transforming it into a sort of Europol, as the borders of the member Ssates are also Europe’s borders.
“With such migration flows the responsibility of guarding the borders lies both in Europe and as such, FRONTEX must activated much more to guard Europe’s borders”, said the President and welcomed the statement of the head of the PG of PPE, Manfred Weber, in Suddeutsche Zeitung that “member states borders are the borders of Europe and that FRONTEX should take on this responsibility”.
The President said that they are beginning to understand the problem and added that Flogaitis, from the post of deputy foreign minister, is the most suitable person to bring to the forthcoming extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers, convened by Luxembourg, this peculiarity that Greece has been emphasising for years.
He recalled that the migration policy of Europe has been established since 2008 with the Agreement on Immigration and Asylum, adding that “what Europe must remember is that today and to assume its responsibilities is that this Agreement should be implemented. Especially the four pillars on Illegal Immigration and Asylum should be implemented in full”.
On his part, Flogaitis informed the President of the Republic that following consultation with Petros Molyviatis, he will be the one who will represent our country at the forthcoming extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers, which was convened by Luxembourg, and which will focus on the migration issue and stressed that the guidelines and thoughts of the President will prove very useful.