ATHENS — SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he holds Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis "personally responsible" for the devastating fire at the Moria refugee center, airing his criticism on social media on Wednesday.
"The catastrophe at Moria is unprecedented. Unfortunately, the government of New Democracy has been managing the refugee and migration issue for a year now, with the sole criterion being the satisfaction of the extreme right-wing and its supporters," emphasized the leader of the main opposition party.
"This is exactly what we fought to prevent, as for four years we internationalized the migration crisis issue, brought Europe to face its responsibilities and found supporters in this endeavor: international organizations, states and world leaders, such as Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew," he noted.
Tsipras also emphasized that "we had already proceeded with the plan of decongestion with consistency and respect for our fellow human beings."
"Moria's 5,000 residents became 20,000 in one year, before the decongestion plan began hastily and timidly," he said.
He accused New Democracy of "siding with the EU extremists who emphatically deny solidarity and co-responsibility. Those who closed borders, erected walls and deployed armies against refugees. Those who blackmailed the EU into taking a stand, leading to various bad incidents at Moria, Eidomeni and even Italy's Lampedusa," he said.
"Greece has stopped claiming, has stopped demanding, and merely accepted that our islands are to become a permanent place of martyrdom for thousands of people, at a time when it was supposedly dealing with the protection of our borders," he continued.
"Mitsotakis is striving to put Greece to top news in international networks, with fiestas and interviews. Finally he managed it today, but for all the wrong reasons," Tsipras noted.
The image of the burning Moria camp hurts the pride of all Greeks around the world, he said and concluded: "The government must, here and now, take emergency measures to support the island, to immediately cover all health needs and finally proceed with a plan for the immediate decongestion of all the islands. Mr. Mitsotakis is personally responsible for this drama and is proving to be historically too small to manage one of the biggest issues that Greece and Europe have ever faced."