sipras meets with Merkel – Hollande before EU summit

17 March 2016
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The two-day EU Summit begins today without European having agreed during preliminary discussions on a definitive approach with Turkey on refugee issue.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who hopes getting the support of socialists, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The trilateral meeting among Germany, France and Greece lasted about an hour and, according to government sources, there was a common ground on reaching an agreement with Turkey.

Greek government says it is confident that a smooth and sustainable solution will be achieved.

Mr. Tsipras raised four basic points for the refugee issue: more pressure to be exerted on Turkey to reduce migration flows through implementation of the action plan and a more effective operation of the NATO mission in the Aegean, implementation of the bilateral readmission protocol with Turkey, relocation processes must be speeded up and implementation of a reliable resettlement system from Turkey.

Moreover, the Greek side aims to speed up the humanitarian aid towards Greece to improve the living conditions of immigrants and refugees. Greece wants more time and technical support and staff to create more adequate reception facilities for the refugees.

The discussion among the 28 member states and Turkey will begin at the working dinner on Thursday night, in order to issue a joint statement on Friday morning.

The Prime Minister’s program in Brussels is as follows:

Thursday, March 17

14.00-15.30 Participation in the preparatory meeting of PES leaders (as an observer)

15.40-15.45 Arrival to the European Council

16.00-16.30 Exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz

16.45-19:30 European Council Workshop

19.45-22:00 Working Lunch of the heads of State and EU Member State governments

Friday, March 18, 2016

09:15-09:45 Arrival to the European Council

10:00 Working breakfast of the heads of state and EU Member State governments and Turkish Prime Minister

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