Athens, May 31, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
On the importance of the values and principles of the Council of Europe in addressing the current challenges in the fields of economy, society and security, discussed Alexis Tsipras with President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Pedro Agramunt, in a meeting they had at the Maximos Mansion.
In this context, Mr Agramunt highlighted the strong and positive activity of Greek MPs in the Parliamentary Assembly and the excellent cooperation he has with them. He also praised the attitude of the Greek people and the government’s in the management of the humanitarian crisis.
Alexis Tsipras noted that the refugee crisis showed that solidarity in Europe from founding principle has become a political imperative.
He reiterated that the smooth implementation of the Agreement on refugee flows between the EU and Turkey should be ensured, because, as initially had been stated by the Greek government, even a deal with problems is better than a non-agreement.
Finally, the two men discussed the presence of Prime Minister in the upcoming session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on June 22 in Strasbourg.
N. Voutsis: There is the need for a single European strategy to address the refugee problem
Issue of circumvention of human rights by the EU – Turkey agreement on refugee, raised the chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Pedro Agramunt, in his speech in Parliament.
“We felt that the EU – Turkey agreement raises many human rights issues, both in its essence and its application and decided to place recommendations to Greece, Turkey and the European Union”, Mr Agramunt noted, stressing that during the visit of the high-level delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly in Greece they will see for themselves the implementation of the Agreement.
On the positive side, the visit of the ad hoc Parliamentary Assembly Committee of the Council of Europe in Greece is recorded the message that it seeks to send, according to its chairman, which is none other than the need for “European solidarity against the Europe of fences” , which will strengthen the Greek positions.
“We can hope to make equitable sharing of burdens and move away from the Europe of fences and have a Europe of solidarity. I hope to convey the message that we will find ways to help countries like Greece and protect human rights”, Mr Agramunt said.
The need for everyone to help remove the causes of destabilisation in the Middle East and North Africa, stressed the House Speaker Nikos Voutsis in his address, stressing that this “cry” comes from everywhere and is the only way to reduce refugee flows.
He also stressed that Europe should reconcile with the idea of hosting and integrating hundreds of thousands of refugees at this stage, until the causes that generate the increased flows are removed.
“Europe as a whole will have to realise the magnitude of the serious responsibilities inherent in the so called developed world in the extension of this generalised destabilisation scheme. The migration rules and the agreement with Turkey should be met without erected barriers at the borders and new walls and without being tolerated some countries to show their solidarity and others to not contribute to this policy”, Mr Voutsis said, and sending a message abroad he called for the formation of a new correlation of values of solidarity, hospitality, peace-loving dimension, rights and support of existing agreements.