Athens, August 10, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The European Union gives exams on the migration problem, said the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after a meeting at the Interior Ministry to deal with the problems arising due to the volume of migrants arriving in the country. At the same time, in the “Votanicos” district of Athens works continue feverishly to enable the relocation of refugees from Pedion Areos.
The attempt to tackle the problem on the part of Greece is ongoing, despite the fact that the problem goes beyond us, Tsipras noted, adding that Greece takes from its remanence and from humanistic obligation offers what it can to the refugees.
Inviting the European Union to take responsibility for its borders, he said that the united Europe has no longer a meaning if each State looks only for its own interests, and spoke of some new EU countries that refuse to adopt the principle of solidarity, on which the European structure has been built.
Alexis Tsipras made it clear that the Mediterranean cannot be a cemetery for immigrants and noted that the borders must be patrolled, while he also warned those who try to exploit the migratory problem for petty party games, that they will be exposed.
The Prime Minister proceeded to the presentation of the direct operational planning, which includes:
- The ongoing coordination of ministries under the State Minister Alekos Flabouraris and deputy minister for immigration policy issues Tasia Christodoulopoulou, to accelerate discharging of the islands, strengthening the infrastructure of initial hosting areas, faster identification of refugees and their as fast as possible transport from the islands to the mainland.
- The acceleration of procedures for the establishment of the Special Management Authority for the direct use of European funds. Indeed, he said he asked the revoking of employees permits to speed up procedures.
- Undertake initiatives to internationalise the problem – such as representations to the UN and the EU – cooperation and diplomatic contacts with Turkey, from which as Tsipras noted a large volume of refugees enter. Cooperation with Turkey is necessary, not only on the part of Greece but also on the part of the EU, the Greek PM added.
- Undertake initiatives to mobilize the existing state structures and municipal structures and to exploit every social contribution to address the problem.
The Prime Minister further said that there is ongoing work on the relocation of refugees from Pedion Areos to “Votanikos” and explained that the delay occurred as there was the need to find an area that is easily accessible from the migrants, but not within a residential area.
He also said that there was prior work by PPC and EYDAP.
ANEL: Opposition should not condemn the government
The government coalition partner Independent Greeks issued a statement on the migration issue through its spokeswoman Marina Chrysovelonis.
Chrysovelonis highlights the complexity of the issue, urging the opposition parties not to condemn the government hurling denunciation” in excess of hypocrisy and populism.
“It is hypocritical, on the occasion of the unprecedented upsurge of the migrant and refugee wave, for PASOK and ND that managed all the previous years with incredible incompetence, superficiality and lack of foresight from the problem, to now blame with the same ease all the blame on the just six months SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government”, Chrysovelonis adds, concluding that “no one should ignore that, beyond any bureaucratic delays concerning the establishment of the competent authority, the function of which is associated with the creation of infrastructures and the timely absorption of EU funds, the management of the problem of increased migratory pressure is not a simple task, but also related to the negative attitude of our neighbor, and to the will of Europe to assume its responsibilities and not act like Pontius Pilate”.
Gerovasilis: Collective tackling of the problem
On the same wavelength was the statement of government spokesperson, Olga Gerovasilis, who accused the Opposition of petty politics and populism.
“We urge them even now to contribute with their own proposals and actions, and assist in the effort being made by the government towards the European Union’s collective response to the problem, instead of using the issue as a cheap opposition tool”, concludes Gerovasilis in her statement.