NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said Europe must devote more resources toward dealing with refugees and migrants, stressing that collective cooperation from all countries is the only way to manage the problem.
Mr. Tsipras made his comments while co-hosting a roundtable on the refugee issue during the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. Greece has seen a dramatic influx in refugees in recent years, a byproduct of continuing turmoil in the Middle East.
Of the refugee crisis, Mr. Tsipras said, "either we will manage to face it collectively, comprehensively and on the basis of our values, or we will fail."
During the roundtable, Mr. Tsipras said that Greece, even while facing an economic crisis, has faced the issue head-on. "We faced it when 1.2 million migrants entered our country,'' he said. "We faced it when -through unilateral steps of others- our northern borders were closed. We face it as we try to support the nearly 60,000 migrants stranded in Greece, and the new ones coming.''
Mr. Tsipras said that coping with the refugee influx can only work on the basis of solidarity and shared responsibility. Mr. Tsipras said other countries must follow through with the promises they have made to help Greece with the refugee problem. Specifically, Mr. Tsipras asked for an increase in the number of European Asylum officials supporting the Greek asylum service, and also for help in relocating refugees from Greece to other European countries.
Mr. Tsipras concluded by asking for the creation of a "broader global compact " that will:
- increase economic and personnel support to countries hosting refugees
- increase returns of people who are not in need of international protection
- increase diplomatic initiatives and funding to tackle the root causes of migration
- increase police, border and coast guard cooperation to eradicate trafficking networks.
For more information, please contact:
Dimitris Karamanis - PM General Secretary's office
+30 698 295 9260
SOURCE Government of Greece