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.


Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Biden Hosts Macron amid Friction over US Climate Law (Video)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are celebrating the longstanding U.

SAN FRANCISCO – Greek Chamber Music Project (GCMP) founder, director, and flutist Ellie Falaris Ganelin on December 1 announced the GCMP’s upcoming tour, titled ‘Uproot’ which features music from Asia Minor.

ASTORIA – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris joined the Museum of the Moving Image’s (MoMI) annual gala on December 1 to announce $5 million in state funding he secured to advance the Museum’s educational work in film, television, and digital media.

NEW YORK – The St. Nicholas-Tele-Santa Program is a project designed to reach families with children ages 2-10 years old.

BUFFALO, NY – William McKinley AHEPA Chapter 91 hosted the first annual Holiday Bakaliko on November 27 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Buffalo, NY.

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.