Athens, March 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
“Right now we need both Panos Kammenos and Giannis Mouzalas in the government. Both have offered too much in dealing with the refugee crisis”, stresses the deputy Defence minister and head of the government body responsible for the management of the refugee crisis, Dimitris Vitsas, in an interview with the daily “Agora”. At the same time, he notes that in the government there is a climate of cooperation and that government coherence “is given, it is very strong and it is not in danger”.
On the cooperation with Turkey on the issue of refugees, Vitsas says that Ankara has “a number of other problems”, but the refugee problem should not be used to solving them. “Each side on its part has to contribute with all its forces and certainly there must be a checking process on whether it implements the obligations accruing from the agreement”, says the deputy minister and adds: “There are multiple interests that create the illegal transfer of false hope traders who exploit refugees and promise that they can cross the border illegaly”.
Vitsas staes that the government knows which are the non-governmental organisations working for the refugee problem and that there is a cooperation with those accredited by UNHCR and the Foreign and Migration Policy Ministries and also with volunteers who help at the port of Piraeus.
Finally, Vitsas emphasises that at this time, priority is the reduction of the flow and the speed up of the relocation, while regarding the refugees that remain in Greece, he states that the government is “fully prepared” to have specific programmes for their integration.