Alt.Migration Minister Mouzalas: Europe is divided over the refugees issue

27 January 2016
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“If the crossing point at Idomeni closes, the borders do not close and the borders extend to thousands of kilometres and…Instead of protecting the legal migration, we support the illegal migration and we help terrorists and give job to human traffickers,” Alternate Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas told private SKAI TV.

Referring to Denmark’s decision to take the personal valuables from the refugees he noted: “Denmark’s stance reminds me of the Jews in the trains …the memories are still fresh.”

He added that “others do not want the black people, others do not want bachelors, others mothers with children, this is not a European prospect”.

Regarding Ankara’s stance, Mouzalas said that “in the last period Turkey accepted back 123 migrants and sent 60,000”. The outcome of Monday’s meeting (of EU ministers) was that Turkey holds the key of the inflow and has not met its responsibilities. We proposed that when migrants and refugees arrive on Greek islands to be counted and to be sent to hotspots, separate the migrants from the refugees and the next day to go back to Turkey, he underlined.

Mouzalas said that November’s report on the progress made in the construction of hotspots will be discussed today at the College of the Commissioners. “The report is bad,” he said and added that “it is true that the works have not progressed as they should have done so” and reiterated that the hotspots will be ready by the end of February and will operate in early March.

He implied that the Defence ministry is also responsible for the delay. “Mr. Kammenos (Defence Minister) does the same as everyone else…He gives less of what we request and want to exchange it with something else, the same as the mayors do.”

Mouzalas stressed that in Europe “they are playing an incrimination game against Greece on the refugees influx. With the only expection of the Belgian minister that his government contradicted him, nobody has set a Schengen issue, neither Avramopoulos nor Timmermans. All the European officials were clear but a certain climate is created through leaks.

“The Belgian Minister (Theo Francken) can’t say ‘I don’t care if you drown them…push them back’. It is a crime and he shouldn’t have said something like that,” said Mouzalas.

Concluding the Greek Migration Minister noted that “the Frontex acknowledges that Greece is doing an excellent job, but Europe is divided over the refugees issue…We are making alliances in order to promote our positions.”

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