Greece warns EU to hold Turkey to account on refugee crisis
Greece has warned the European Union to obtain specific commitments from Turkey ahead of putting together a 3-billion-euro fund for Ankara to help tackle the refugee crisis.
The key role of Turkey in the process of stemming the flow of refugees and migrants was discussed on Friday during the second and last day of a summit in Malta. According to sources, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stressed to his EU counterparts that Brussels has to make it clear what it will be getting in return for providing Turkey with emergency funding and assistance.
For instance, Tsipras said that in return for receiving new equipment for its coast guard, Turkey should be made to prove that it is cracking down on human-trafficking gangs. The Greek premier said that if the EU is going to provide money for the construction of reception centers on Turkish soil, then Ankara has to commit to allowing the relocation of refugees to take place directly from these camps. Also, Tsipras said that if the EU is going to lift visa restrictions on Turkish citizens, Ankara’s readmission agreement with Greece should be upgraded to a pact between Turkey and the EU.
It is expected that these will be some of the key points that Tsipras will raise when he visits Ankara next week, ahead of an EU-Turkey summit in Brussels on November 29. Tsipras held a meeting with Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Athens on Friday to begin preparation for the upcoming trip to Turkey.
Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said that Greece has no plans to create more spaces at relocation camps on the eastern Aegean islands beyond those needed as part of Athens’s commitment to the EU for the relocation scheme. Mouzalas said that those refugees who will be included in the transfer process would be moved on from the islands to the mainland.
He said the government plans to have reception centers capable of holding 2,000 arrivals on Lesvos, 1,500 on Samos, 1,000 on Chios, 1,000 on Kos and around 800 on Leros.
You may be interested
PAO fans storm club’s officesmakis - Jun 23, 2017
A group of Panathinaikos fans have stormed the club’s headquarters protesting against what they consider to be a complete lack…
Almost 4 million Greeks were at risk of poverty last yearmakis - Jun 23, 2017
According to the ELSTAT, 35,6% of the Greece’s population or 3.789.300 people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion…
New survey: New Democracy gains 6 percentage points in one month widening the gap with Syriza!makis - Jun 23, 2017
The government’s communication effort to give a positive impression to the Eurogroup agreement does not seem to be working that…