Tsipras: Mandatory EU involvement in the refugee distribution

Tsipras: Mandatory EU involvement in the refugee distribution

Athens, March 2, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The involvement of all EU Member States in the distribution of refugees, not on a voluntary but on a compulsory basis, depending on the population and economic strength of each country, will ask at the Extraordinary European Council next Monday the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, while he will emphasize the need for all the agreements to be respected.

Speaking on the second channel of the German public television ZDF, A. Tsipras argued against unilateralism and warned that failure to find a common European solution would endanger the common future of all European countries.

“It is unacceptable to have unilateral action. One country alone can not cope with the refugee crisis. We need to find European solutions. At the last European Council we agreed that no country along the Balkan route would to proceed to unilateral, uncoordinated actions that have not been agreed”, the premier said, stressing that the problem now is that some countries believe that there are no common rules in Europe and that we have agreements but we not implement them. “A lot of our European partners were telling us during the negotiations, in the summer, that we must adhere to the agreements, ‘pacta sunt servanta’. So we say the same. The agreements must be kept. In essence, I believe that if we do not succeed in finding a common solution, this would not only be a problem for Greece, but will endanger our common future in Europe”, he said.

Referring to the refugee crisis, A. Tsipras spoke of a common problem, to which we must try to find a common solution. “It is to not want to share the burden of the refugee crisis. The refugee crisis can only be resolved through solidarity”, he says and adds that the rules apply to everyone, while announcing that in the next European Council he will ask for a decision, which will provide that other countries take refugees from Greece and Turkey, “not on a voluntary basis, but with the obligation of all EU countries to welcome a refugees number proportional to their population and economic strength”.

Responding to a question as to what he expects in this effort from Germany, A. Tsipras said: “I hope and I expect that in this situation, Germany will follow a smart policy, and by that I mean that it will support us in the burden sharing within Europe”. He also stressed that the problem is not that Greece can not protect its borders and continued: “We have sea borders and it is impossible to secure the border in the middle of the sea. When the refugees with the help of smugglers, approach our borders, which are also European borders, with inflatable speedboats there is only one obligation: we must save the people”. He hopes that this will stop with the NATO mission, since as he says, they will see all that if NATO can not protect the border, then who can?

Merkel: The battle in Europe threatens the euro

The dispute in Europe on the refugees threatens the euro, said the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking on Monday night at the party gathering in Volkmarsen, according to Bloomberg.

“What we see in recent days, with some countries going their own way at the expense of another country, such as Greece – this is not the European way”, the chancellor said. With the countries along the so-called Balkan route preventing the refugees from moving north of Greece, Merkel warned on Sunday other EU countries to not allow  “chaos” to be created in a country that already has “a lot of problems”, Bloomberg notes.

Indeed, in an interview in Suedwest Presse, Angela Merkel said that “it would be better if everyone acted in a European manner and not just leave a member state, Greece, lifting the weight of the decision” and stressed that the Europe of 500 million inhabitants should do more to contribute to the protection of refugees. “On March 7 is an important opportunity for the group of 28 EU Member States, jointly with Turkey, to promote the practical implementation of the EU-Turkey Action Plan. Many have already begun, but certainly much remains still to be done to pass from paper to reality. We share the opportunity to effectively protect the external borders and to effectively and permanently reduce illegal immigration”, A. Merkel says, adding that Turkey has assumed a key role, since, as a neighbor of Syria has welcomed 2.5 million refugees while the vast majority comes from there through Greece in Europe.