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Deputy FM Xydakis: “7,000 refugees ready to relocate, but some EU-states don’t even respond to Greece’s requests”

Greece plans to relocate a large number of migrants to the mainland to relieve the islands on the Eastern Aegean Sea, despite the fact that EU Turkey Deal provides  that new arrivals after march 20th should stay in hot spots on these islands and be prevented from further travel.

Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of European Affairs, Nikos Xydakis, told German conservative Die Welt, that Greece “will soon begin to bring a large number of migrants to the mainland to relieve the islands in the eastern Aegean. This will be very well organized and conducted in a legal manner. We will accommodate them in guarded premises”.

The minister blamed the EU for the appalling situation and the occasional unrest in some refugee camps on the islands as a result of member-states reluctance to relocate refugees as well as lack of support. And he warned that with refugees and migrants keep coming to Greece “the situation in the camps can easily escalate.”

“For the time being, 7,000 refugees could be immediately relocated from Greece to other EU countries, all formalities for this procedure have been met. But it does not happen.

Most EU countries take far too few refugees from Greece, some EU countries do not even respond to our requests,” said Xydakis.

Since September 2015, only about 3,500 of the agreed 65,000 refugees were distributed to other European countries. “This is far too little,” said Xydakis.

The Minister also criticized the lack of support in terms of EU members provide asylum experts to Greece.

“The EU Commission said in March this year that we needed 400 officers from the Asylum Agency EASO. To date, only 26 officers have come to the islands. We need extremely urgent more support from the EU countries in tackling the refugee crisis in Greece. I expect that the Europeans now show solidarity and not only make promises, but also act,” the minister stressed.

Commenting on the proposal by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) that Greece should take back refugees form Germany, Xydakis said that “It is not realistic to insist on enforcement of the Dublin Regulation and deport refugees from other countries back to Greece. That would overwhelm my country, “Xydakis said.

There were already 60,000 refugees in Greece. “This number brings us to the breaking point. If other EU countries, send people who have landed in Greece back to us, then we would soon have one or two million refugees,” the minister underlined.

Xydakis’ interview to Die Welt here in German

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  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Trapped in his own stupidity of trusting into Orwellian language as if “HOT SPOTS” was something romantic – just like the trolls that live under the volcanoes in Iceland or meaning exactly the opposite of what a hotspot is: “We’ll see that these hotspots will explode and this will be helpful for our public and society to learn homework” (Adolf Märklin, summer 2015)

  2. Just to riff on one of my previous posts. The EU actions on refugees rarely matches their rhetoric. If one wants more proof of this, the Guardian is reporting today that the EU is secretly planning to threaten Afghanistan in Brussels next week with a reduction or even an outright elimination in humanitarian aid unless they accept at least 80,000 deported asylum seekers (and they have apparently already threatened other countries such as Eritrea and Sudan with similar diktats). Now the key word here is “secretly.” If making humanitarian aid “migration sensitive” (to use the Orwellian newspeak in vogue in Brussels) is the new, de facto EU policy, they should say so openly and not try to implement it secretly under the table. But they won’t do that because they want to both be able to claim they are respectful of the human rights of refugees AND not have to deal with any of the actual repercussion of policy that is sensitive to humanitarian concerns. In other words, hypocrisy reigns supreme in Brussels.

    • All EU negotiations with third countries, where they threaten with one hand and offer peanuts with the other, are conducted in secret. We learn about them after the fact, to make sure that the public has no say about how the EU behaves. I should emphasise, before the Brexit lunatics comment, that this is something supported by all the national governments of the EU. Any individual government has the right to challenge such conduct of negotiations, not to mention the content: none ever does.

  3. The OTHER EU members see that Greece is OBEDIENT to the EU insanity and even to it’s own demise –
    In that climate, what else does Minister Xydakis expect ?