Greece carries out first relocation of refugees, to Luxembourg

4 November 2015
107 Views

Greece on Wednesday carried out the first relocation of asylum seekers from its territory to Luxembourg, part of an EU-approved plan to ease the burden on border nations inundated by this year’s influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Six families from Syria and Iraq were being relocated from Athens, among the first under a 780-million-euro, two-year scheme funded by the European Union.

Smiling parents holding young children posed for “selfies” with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn beside an aeroplane on the runway of Athens international airport, before boarding their flight, live footage broadcast by state television showed.”Thirty in the face of thousands who have fled their homes in Syria and Iraq is a drop in the ocean,” Tsipras said.
“But we hope that this becomes a stream, and then a river of humanity and shared responsibility, because these are the principles upon which the European Union was built.”

More than 580,000 refugees have entered Greece through its long sea border with Turkey this year. In September, the EU approved the transfer of about 160,000 asylum seekers from member states directly affected by the crisis.
About 86 people have already been transferred directly from Italy to Sweden and Finland under the scheme.
The death toll from drowning among refugees making the short but dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece’s outlying eastern islands has risen in recent weeks.

From the beginning of the year until Oct. 29, at least 435 people died, including many children.
Such danger could be avoided if refugees were registered and entered legal relocation schemes from Turkey itself, Tsipras said.
The crisis has created a tough logistical, financial and humanitarian challenge for cash-strapped E.U. member Greece, which signed up to its third international bailout this year, though Greeks themselves are by and large sympathetic to the migrants’ plight.
But it has triggered bickering among other EU partners on how to handle one of the biggest humanitarian crises in decades. EU member state Hungary has erected fences to keep migrants out.

Tsipras was speaking behind a large frame of a photograph of three elderly Greek women bottle feeding an infant and singing it a lullaby while its refugee mother looks on. It was taken on Lesvos, an island which has received the bulk of refugees.
“This photo is the real, good face of Europe, and that’s the Europe we want to live in,” Tsipras said. “Not in a Europe which builds walls and erects barbed wire fences.”

You may be interested

Turkish deputy-Prime Minister accuses Greece of oppressing religious minorities in latest Turkish tirade against Greece
GREECE
shares58 views
GREECE
shares58 views

Turkish deputy-Prime Minister accuses Greece of oppressing religious minorities in latest Turkish tirade against Greece

makis - Nov 17, 2017

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag accused Greece of imprisoning Muslim Imams, despite the country being a member of the…

Greek PM says country would rely on itself to face flood disaster
POLITICS
shares77 views
POLITICS
shares77 views

Greek PM says country would rely on itself to face flood disaster

makis - Nov 17, 2017

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras thanked European countries for offering to help after the flash floods in western Attica, Wednesday, which…

US meteorologist explains deadly storm that flooded Greek towns
GREECE
shares99 views
GREECE
shares99 views

US meteorologist explains deadly storm that flooded Greek towns

makis - Nov 17, 2017

“When the Atlantic hurricane season begins to quiet down in late October and November, it’s time to cast an eye…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.