The Greek government coordinator for refugees and migration, Dimitris Vitsas warns that Europe must build a “human wall” against xenophobia, alluding to the countries of European Union (EU) who insist on strengthening its borders.
“In Europe, we have to build not a wall of xenophobia and racism but one humanity wall against xenophobia. There should be no walls in the Member States of the EU, has to do with the future of human rights and democracy”, he considered to Deputy Minister of Defence, 60, who, on Wednesday concluded an official two-day visit to Portugal to hold meetings with political leaders and visit military and civilian facilities.
The Greek Deputy Minister criticized the decision of the Bulgarian conservative Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, who on Wednesday demanded funding to Brussels to complete a barbed wire fence on the border with Turkey, during a visit to the region accompanied by his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban.
“There is a solution … So do not support the EU nor the foundations of the Union or the UN. It is not solution these countries support such ideas. For many years these same countries were behind a wall … In the past, Greece opened the doors to many citizens of these countries, and governments have to think that the EU must oppose those who take racist and Nazi ideas, “he said.
Dimitris Vitsas defended the strict need to promote the values of democracy and human rights, to also protect “populations of Europe and also the refugees and the people of these countries,” recalling that Greece was the “first country” European to welcome migrants following the immigration wave began in early 2015.
However, and when asked about the EU-Turkey agreement of 20 March, the Greek Prime Minister, highlighted militant left Syriza Party and appointed in February coordinator of the Greek ministries to manage the issue of refugees and migration, defended- if the criticisms made by various NGOs.
“The NGOs had doubts that we could receive the refugees. Together with the United Nations the Greek government is to protect human rights, we are on track, and we support the human direct,” he said.
“With the EU-Turkey agreement, Turkey will be benefited. The cooperation of Turkey is very important and we are trying to move forward with the agreement with various stakeholders, Turkey, Greece, EU, international organizations, and will be applied until you finish war and poverty in affected areas, “he added.
In March, the EU pledged to provide 3,000 million by 2017, and another 3,000 million at a later date, in exchange for the cooperation of Ankara in containing the arrival of illegal immigrants and refugees to the EU.
Brussels nodded still a requirement of Turkey and admitted the exemption of visas for Turkish citizens wishing to enter the Community territory, under certain conditions.
“Right now, in our country, 40,000 refugees and immigrants are the islands and 50,000 in mainland Greece. We have already achieved welcomes them, but we had the support committed the EU,” stated the minister, who also welcomed the “very help “of Portugal in this area.
“What is lacking at this point is the research work, asylum granting and refugee relocation procedure under the EU-Turkey agreement. Now We have started the second program of health care and care in homes, and asylum, will be completed by the end of the year, “he said.
Under this arrangement, it is expected also that the EU accepted a Syrian refugee for every migrant or refugee who has arrived illegally to the shores of Greece, which should be “returned” to Turkey.
After its completion, the migratory flow recorded a drastic decrease in the eastern Mediterranean region: “Until 20 March [date of entry into force of the EU-Turkey agreement] came to Greece 1,000 people per day in 2015 we had 10,000 people a day now we are getting 100 people a day. ”
Alluding to the recent summit of Athens, who on Friday joined the Greek capital political leaders of the EU southern countries, including Portugal, Dimitris Vitsas stressed that the meeting was essential objective to highlight the same problems of all the countries involved, and provide solutions and proposals for all of Europe.
“It is not to divide Europe, but to encompass the entire European history and all your essentials. Even the representative of Spain [with a government of conservative management] agreed. And who does not support this perspective, you want the austerity remains between southern peoples of Europe, and throughout Europe, “epitomized.