x

Society

Avramopoulos Wants EU Countries to Take Refugees from Greece

December 25, 2017

ATHENS – European Union’s migration chief Dimitris Avramopoulos is calling on countries who’ve closed their borders to refugees and migrants to help relieve overwhelmed Greece, but isn’t pressing legal action to make them do it.

Avramopoulos, a veteran of Greece’s New Democracy party, has been lenient on countries within the EU who also reneged on promises to take overloads from Greece, which is overwhelmed with more than 64,000 refugees and migrants unleashed by human traffickers that Turkey is letting operate.

That’s despite a suspended swap deal with the EU which is supposed to see those stuck in Greece who are deemed ineligible for asylum to be sent back to Turkey, although it’s not clear what would then happen as they got there after fleeing war and strife and economic  problems in the Middle East, North Africa and other countries.

“Solidarity cannot be a la carte, it cannot be voluntary and it is not negotiable,” Avramopoulos said in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, adding that the so-called Dublin system – under which people arriving in the EU must stay to claim asylum in the first country they reach – must be revised in June 2018.

That system means that refugees and migrants, many who fled in boats, land only in Greece and Italy and it’s otherwise nearly impossible for them to initially reach countries such as Germany, the primary destination for many before the borders shut down.

Avramopoulos, who has the power to make countries honor commitments but hasn’t, saying it’s a delicate political matter,  spoke after new Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 31,  said the EU should end  “failed” attempts to achieve a quota system for distributing asylum seekers around the bloc.

“Forcing states to take refugees doesn’t take Europe any further. The discussion makes no sense,” Kurz told the Saturday edition of Berlin-based newspaper Bild.

European Council President Donald Tusk, whose country Poland is refusing to help Greece and who represents the heads of state in the 28-country bloc, earlier said he doesn’t want a quota system either, which means the problem would be dumped on Greece during a more than 7 ½-year-long economic crisis.

RELATED

KARDITSA, Greece - Months after investigations were started into the issuance of false COVID-19 documents, an administrative employee and a nurse at a health center in Greece's northern city of Karditsa were fired, the Health Ministry said.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.