“Greece has reached its limits and this requests a strict policy that in no case ignores the human rights but it serves the Greek people’s and the country’s sense of safety. This is our duty and we will totally fulfill it. Our borders are our safety. Non-negotiable,” Alternate Citizen Protection Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said during the address of UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Thursday at the meeting of the parliament’s responsible committees.
Once again, Koumoutsakos underlined that the refugees-migrants issue is not only a Greek issue but also a European one, an issue of the European Union’s borders.
Referring to the suffocating conditions prevailing on the islands, Koumoutsakos referred to the government’ plan to move asylum seekers from the islands to the mainland.
He thanked Grandi for the support and contribution in Greece’s effort to address the major challenge of the migration-refugees issue and said that the time has come to seriously examine an agreeement between the Greek Republic and the UNCHR for the Refugees. “It is now a matter of time and not of political volition,” he underlined.
Europe has to decide a comprehensive and effective migration and asylum policy, said Koumoutsakos adding that “it will correct the mistakes of the past and will prepare Europe for the needs of today and for the future challenges” .
He welcomed the fact the European Union has placed high in its priorities the migration issue adding that “we are now expecting for the declarations to become actions”.
Koumoutsakos said that on Monday at the Internal Affairs and Justice Council meeting that will be held in Brussels, the Greek side will table a proposal for a “robust European return mechanism”.