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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-03

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] "Greece has assumed a larger part of the refugees problem", PM Tsipras said to EC President Tusk

  • [01] "Greece has assumed a larger part of the refugees problem", PM Tsipras said to EC President Tusk

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stressed the need for unity and brave decisions in Greece and Europe after a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk on Thursday.

    The Greek prime minister said a message ahead of the EU-Turkey summit on March 7 that Greece will not host temporarily or permanently more refugees than those allocated in accordance with its population.

    Tsipras said that the European Union proved its weakness in the way it handled the refugee crisis, and therefore its weakness to handle the common problems and the common future.

    He condemned member states' unilateral acts without former coordination which oppose to the conclusions of the European Council and have led to the drastic reduction of flows from the Balkan route, with serious repercussions both for refugees and for Greece.

    "We expect that the EU will explicitly recognize that Greece cannot assume all the responsibility by itself. A basic founding principle of the European Union, explicitly defined in the Lisbon Treaty, is the principle of solidarity between member states, which means fair distribution of responsibilities. Greece will demand the full respect of the European treaty otherwise there will be sanctions for those who do not respect it," he added.

    Tsipras stressed that since refugee flows have been drastically reduced at the borders of Idomeni, the relocation of the refugees should take place immediately in decent conditions, stressing the need for the implementation of a comprehensive EU policy regarding the return of undocumented migrants to their countries.

    Therefore he called on member states to refrain from unilateral actions. "Only when we respect each other, can we advance," he underlined. The recent unilateral acts are unacceptable and should be condemned by everyone, he stated.

    Regarding the construction of hotspots, Tsipras reiterated that Greece meets its obligations. "Hotspots on the islands have been completed," he reassured.

    On his part, Tusk called on all potential migrants not to come to Greece, to Europe, not to believe the traffickers, because Greece will not be a transit country. He also expressed his respect to the Schengen Agreement and urged everyone to avoid conflicts because they dissolve the trust.

    He also underlined that "the EU will not abandon Greece, it will not leave it alone."

    Both officials stressed the need for respect to those agreed as well as the decisions of the European Council.

    Finally, Tusk who will leave immediately for Turkey said that EU-Turkey joint action plan remains a priority that must be successful.

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