The Greek government has recalled the country’s ambassador to Vienna, Chryssoula Aliferi, the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.
According to a foreign ministry statement, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias decided to recall Aliferi for “consultations aimed at safeguarding the friendly relations between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.”
“It is clear that the major problems of the European Union cannot be confronted via thoughts, attitudes and extra-institutional initiatives that have their roots in the 19th century, and nor can the decisions of the heads of state be supplanted by directives from police directors. The latter is a major problem for democracy. It points to the need for the European Union to be protected from various parties who are ignorant of history,” the announcement said.
“Unilateral initiatives for resolving the refugee crisis, along with violations of international law and the European acquis by member states of the EU, are practices that can undermine the foundations and process of European integration.
“Responsibility for dealing with the migration and refugee crisis cannot weigh on one country alone. Common sense dictates that effective handling of this complex problem should be governed by the principles of solidarity and fair burden sharing. Greece is working in such a direction,” it concluded.
Meanwhile, according to an ANA-MPA dispatch from Vienna, the Austrian foreign ministry on responded with renewed criticism of Greece and its handling of refugee flows toward northern European countries.
In an announcement reported by the Austrian news agency APA, the Austrian foreign ministry said “Austria understands the tension prevailing in Greece, since the pressure on Greece is increasing for it to cooperate in a restriction in the flow of refugees.”
Commenting on the decision to recall Greece’s ambassador, the Austrian foreign ministry said it was the right of every country to recall its diplomats and expressed hope that this would help bring about a change in prevailing views on the Greek side.