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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] The Balkan route will not open again, says PM Tsipras after meeting Armenian president
  • [02] Main opposition slams PM for mishandling refugee crisis, Idomeni incident

  • [01] The Balkan route will not open again, says PM Tsipras after meeting Armenian president

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan on Tuesday in their joint statements expressed their full support of the recent ceasefire in Syria.

    As Tsipras said, they stressed the need for effectively combating terrorism and the necessary conditions for reconciliation in the country. He noted that the end of the war in Syria and the restoration of normalcy are the main factors for stopping the unprecedented refugee flows from Syria to Europe. Tsipras spoke of the huge effort of the government and the Greek people to receive the thousands of refugees and was briefed on the relevant efforts made by Armenia.

    Both of them agreed that the refugee crisis does not concern specific countries, but the entire international community, "hence coherent policies are required in solidarity climate for addressing this crisis," Tsipras underlined.

    Commenting on Monday's events in Idomeni, he noted that the misinformation of refugees is a criminal behavior that must stop. As he said, refugees and migrants are encouraged either to remain at Idomeni under conditions of humanitarian crisis, rather than be transferred to hosting facilities before their relocation, or to walk long distances in harsh conditions with the risk of losing their lives in order to cross the border and find themselves on the opposite side.

    He also called on the refugees at Idomeni to abandon their efforts to remain in the area because, as he said, some countries' unilateral actions were made on purpose and estimated that the closed borders will not open again. Therefore, they need to be transferred to hosting facilities and "from there on to work together to speed up the process of their legal transfer to other European countries, through the acceleration of the relocation process."

    The Greek prime minister stressed that the government was implementing a specific plan to manage refugee flows agreed at European level when the Balkan route closed by some countries' unilateral actions. Thus, apart from meeting its European obligations, the government was faced with the need to deal in humanitarian terms with an increasing number of refugees.

    He stated that the increased refugee flows as a result of closed borders create conditions of an intense humanitarian crisis beyond our responsibility. "We do not want to turn an international and European problem into a cross-border problem between Greece and FYROM," he said, adding that this is why the government appealed to refugees and NGOs to be transferred from the temporary border camps to open hosting facilities throughout the country.

    Bilateral agreements were signed before the statements.

    [02] Main opposition slams PM for mishandling refugee crisis, Idomeni incident

    New Democracy criticized on Tuesday the government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for his handling of the refugee crisis, saying he has turned the country into a big camp, following the incident at Idomeni on Monday night.

    "The government remains baffled and completely ineffective [on the refugee crisis] without a purposeful deterrence policy and no contingency plan," the party said after a meeting of its crisis management team, chaired by president Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

    According to the statement released after the meeting, Greece's northern borders closed which is proven by reality and is stated in the EU-Turkey deal co-signed by Tsipras.

    "The nightmare situation [in Idomeni] is the shame of a completely improper government which is unable to solve any problem. It turns out it does not protect neither borders nor refugees and migrants, nor the security of the country or Greek citizens," the party said, while it urged ministers to step outside of their offices and see the sad reality of Idomeni.

    ND also accuses Tsipras of being absent noting that although he was the one who co-signed for the closure of the Balkan route, he has "the political nerve to blame others for his utter failure."

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