Turkey yet to address refugee flows, says PM

11 December 2015
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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday that he will try to hold Turkey to account over its pledges to stem the flow of refugees and migrants toward Greece, which he argues has not been reduced.

“There was an agreement between the EU and Turkey, which was in my view necessary,” he told Parliament. “We are waiting to the see the results from this agreement because it was supposedly made so the flow would be reduced. Until now, we have not seen anything like that.

“We have created a permanent inter-ministerial committee and I will ask shortly for it to hold an emergency meeting so that we can establish what is going on with the flows from the Turkish side,” he added.

Tsipras also criticized as “illegal” the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for putting up a fence on its border with Greece and only allowing refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq to cross.

FYROM’s decision forced Greece to bus migrants who could not cross over the border to Athens, where they were provided with shelter at the Tae Kwon Do Stadium. There have been complaints about the lack of facilities and personnel to look after the migrants at the structure built for the 2004 Olympics.

“What is happening is not pleasant,” said Tsipras, in reaction to criticism from opposition MPs. “But the worst way to tackle the problem would be to create a fuss by trying to blow out of proportion some small problems that may exist there.”

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