Greece is fulfilling its obligations in managing migration and now it is time for EU member-states to show solidarity and accelerate the rate of relocation, EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Friday after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens.
“The implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement should be accelerated by speeding up the return process, to relieve the pressure from the islands,” Avramopoulos said in a statement.
“I want to stress that Greece has fulfilled its obligations on registering and fingerprinting all those who arrive and has also concluded all necessary procedures for migrants to be relocated. It is now absolutely urgent and necessary that all Member States show solidarity and speed up the rate of relocation,” he added.
“Solidarity cannot come in pieces. We need to deliver on all aspects and address the refugee crisis comprehensively.”
The Commissioner also stressed the need for Greece to create dedicated facilities for unaccompanied minors as well as appropriate protection measures including the appointment and presence of qualified staff for their protection and care.
“The EU supports and will continue to support Greece, both operationally and financially. It is important to adequately use all EU funding available.
In this context Greece will also speed up the use of the EU funding available under its national programs. I welcome the appointment of coordinators on the islands,” he said. On his part, Tsipras said that on Thursday in Ukraine there was a positive reference to the efforts on the visa liberalisation which, as he said, will be very good if it’s achieved before summer taking into account that Greece is the most safe tourist destination in the region of southeastern Mediterranean. Tsipras said that our target is to attract over 30 million tourists this year and every action will contribute positively to this.
Μigration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas was also present at the meeting.