PM Tsipras: Greece is carrying all of Europe’s burden on the refugee issue

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked for effective solidarity on the refugee issue instead of flexible or optional solidarity during his speech at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday which discussed migration, government sources said.

Tsipras said “Greece is carrying all of Europe’s burden on the refugee issue”, adding that out of the 66,000 relocations Greece was to make to other member-states, only 5,200 have been implemented. “We didn’t do the EU-Turkey deal to stop the flow of refugees, but to replace the illegal flows with legal flows. If some people want to seal off all flows, then this is against our common principles,” he told EU leaders.

Concerning the review of the common European asylum system, the prime minister said it is “unacceptable” because it doesn’t foresee a distribution of migrants but burdens solely the countries of first entrance. He also said the EU must give Turkey a clear answer about the Visa issue so as not to give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan excuses to not uphold the agreement. On the Visa issue, he also said EU must not hold “double standards for Cyprus”.

In the working dinner EU leaders discuss EU’s relations with Russia and the Brexit.

On Friday, Tsipras will meet with French President Francois Hollande at 10:00 and with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at 10:30. The time of the meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has not been set yet.