Athens.- Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos exchanged views on their contacts in Ukraine and US respectively as well as on the developments in migration and safety before their meeting on Friday in prime minister’s office in parliament.
Avramopoulos, who returned from the US, said that he had very important meetings noting that it was the first European contact with the new administration during which very interesting positive messages sent.
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 its achieved before summer taking into account that Greece is the most safe tourist destination in the region of southeastern Mediterrenean. Tsipras said that our target is to attract over 30 million tourists this year and every action will contribute positively to this.
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 the meeting.
“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.