PM Tsipras: We must stop the human tragedy in the Aegean

4 November 2015
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“Today we inaugurated a very important procedure, the relocation procedure. Most of the refugees that left today from Greece to Luxembourg set their lives in danger in their attempt to cross the Aegean. Today, they make a journey to hope” stated Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a ceremony held at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” immediately after the departure of Syrian and Iraqi refugees for Luxembourg.

Tsipras thanked European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, Greek Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Ioannis Mouzalas and European Commissioner for Migration Issues Dimitris Avramopoulos for their contribution in the first refugees relocation and for their presence in the event.

“We are fully aware that this is a beginning, that 30 refugees in the thousands that are leaving their country to get away from the war is only a drop in the ocean” noted Tsipras but underlined “We want this drop in the ocean to become a rivulet and to finally become a river of humanism, co-responsibility and shared responsibility because these are the principles on which EU has been based”.
The Greek premier said that we must put a halt to the human sacrifice in the Aegean Sea that disgraces the European civilisation. It is our common responsibility and we must work hard in order to stop this drama”.

He also said that the refugees families send their thanks to the Greek people who despite “the extremely difficult and bad economic conditions, because we must not forget that Greece is a country that is facing a humanitarian crisis due to the programmes implemented in the last years, the Greek people, and especially the people of the islands, opened their arms to them.

Moreover, the Greek prime minister stressed that Greece is not the entrance gate of the refugees’ inflow route but part of the route. The entrance gate is Turkey and for this reason the most effective and less dangerous solution depends on EU’s cooperation with Turkey in order the identification and relocation procedure to start at the Turkish coasts and not on the Greek islands “to switch from the relocation to the resettlement procedure” he concluded.

EU’s relocation programme refers to persons in need of international protection from an EU state member to another. It is a European mechanism against the refugees inflow with aim the fairest distribution of the asylum seekers. The programme was inaugurated on Wednesday and thirty refugees left on Wednesday for Luxembourg

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