Europe must intensify efforts for diplomatic solution in Syria, Potami leader says

In statements on the missile strikes in Syria after a two-day visit to the refugee camps on the island of Lesvos, opposition Potami party leader Stavros Theodorakis said that Europe must intensify its efforts for a diplomatic solution to end the violence. He also pointed out that Greece had paid a heavy price for the war in Syria.

“When you see the fire in your neighbourhood growing, you cannot but worry. Greece, and especially our islands such as Lesvos, have paid a heavy price because of this war. I hope that the Europeans are aware of their responsibilities and will continue to try, along with us and the United Nations, to find a solution so that there are no more victims, no more refugees and so that there can be a relative calm in the region,” he said.

Theodorakis also suggested three actions that could be taken immediately to alleviate some of the more serious problems in the functioning of the hotspots, especially now that the flow of refugees had increased.

“There were 8,640 migrants and refugees on Lesvos this morning. Among them children, pregnant women, people that had suffered abuse…I will only note three emergency solutions that will help those that take refuge in our country and the citizens of Lesvos.

Among these he listed the immediate disbursement of European funds approved for expanding the Moria camp sewage system, which was designed for 800 and now had to cope with 6,499 people, connecting the Kara Tepe refugee camp with the electricity grid so as to eliminate the need for oil-burning and polluting generators, and using EU funds available for the hiring of specialised staff for the asylum service, in order to speed up processing of asylum applications.