UN tourism head praises Athens on refugees

2 March 2017
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The head of the United Nations tourism body praised Greece on Thursday for its reception of more than 1 million refugees at the peak of the migration crisis in 2015.

Taleb Rifai, a Jordanian who is secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said that “Greece was correct in receiving them… by correct I mean abiding by international law. That’s why you were not penalized by tourists,” he said of the country.

Greek tourism revenues are seen rising by up to 9 percent in 2017, and arrivals have been rising for years.

“That tells you something,” Rifai said during an interview in Athens, adding that the attitude of receiving refugees while struggling with the debt crisis was “admirable.”

“I’m here to pay respect to that,” he said.

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