Greek PM A. Tsipras agrees to 50,000 more refugees

26 October 2015
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Three proposals to deal with the refugee crisis were put forth on the table during a mini-Summit of 10 EU leaders that had been called for by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The proposals

1) One of the proposals included the creation of a ghetto for 50,000 refugees in Attica. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras refered to this idea early on Monday, stating that it was one of the proposals that was rejected.
2) Another proposal had included the option of an EU country to bar entry to refugees from another country that, according to Tsipras, would have created a domino effect that would essentially have burdened Greece.
3) A new operation by EU border police Frontex in northern Greece to check migratory flows towards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Tsipras said that the summit accepted Greece’s counter-proposal that would require Greece to help with rent subsidies for 20,000 refugees remaining in Greece. He said that this would contribute to the growth of the Greek economy while also allow for the social integration of the refugees.

The second rejected proposal was matched by a counter-offer that would notify the country of passage of the number of refugees it was responsible for.

The third proposal was rejected on the grounds that each nation is exclusively responsible for its own borders. Tsipras said that the only contribution that Frontex could provide would be to register or identify refugees that had not been processed at entry points on the Greek islands. Tsipras estimates that these would be fiew as most refugees on islands request registration.

During the summit, Tsipras pointed to hte leading role that Turkey plays regarding the refugee flow into the EU, stressing that cooperation with Turkey would help reduce the influx.

Tsipras pointed to understanding on behalf of the EU leaders, however underlined that refugee flows couldn’t be checked in the corridors of Europe but at the entry point.

The EU Commission would present specific proposals to Turkey soon to create the hope for a decisive resolution on the refugee flows.

According to the new plan Greece will offer rent subsidies to 20,000 refugees, create temporary housing for 10,000 people in Attica and another 10,000 in Northern Greece. EU leaders expressed satisfaction that Greece intends to increase the numbers it would accomodate.

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