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Athens News Agency: News in English, 12-02-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papoutsis: Europe's hypocricy on illegal migration must stop

  • [01] Papoutsis: Europe's hypocricy on illegal migration must stop

    AMNA / Greek Citizen Protection Christos Papoutsis on Tuesday lambasted what he called Europe's "hypocricy and doublespeak" vis-a-vis the spectre of illegal immigration, hours after a spokesman in Brussels said the relevant EU Commissioner considers a fence along a tract of the Greek-Turkish border as "pointless".

    Papoutsis, himself a former EU Commissioner, inaugurated a project to build a high-tech 12.5-kilometre fence along a tract of land in northeast Evros prefecture that has emerged as the favourte "route" for illegal migrants trying to enter Greece from Turkish territory. Officially, the project has been budgeted at 3.16 million euros.

    "At some point, Europeís hypocrisy and doublespeak on illegal migration management has to stop. On the one hand, Europe denies a revision of Dublin ……; puts suffocating pressure and threatens Greece with sanctions about the guarding of external borders. On the other hand, when measures are taken and works make progress, Europe keeps its distance and starts scoffing," an angry response by the minister read.

    "The European Commission had better remain within the framework of its own competences and respect the European Unionís law and order ... The Regulation of the External Borders Fund undoubtedly permits the financing of the fence construction at the land borders between Greece and Turkey in the Evros region, in order to stop migration flows into Greece and Europe," a press release stated, adding:

    "The European Commission has never denied this legal basis of Greeceís request. It kept, though, harbouring reservations, and has actually delayed the approval of financing for the overall Greek border management programme for the year 2012. As a result, the Greek programme, which included funding for the new asylum services and the first reception and detention centres for illegal immigrants was only approved on Nov. 25, 2011.

    Papoutsis also emphasised that varaious bureaucratic barriers were overcome to finally begin construction this week for the fence, as well as to inaugurate operation of a border surveillance operational centre with thermal cameras in Evros, which was financed by the EU's External Borders Fund.

    "The European Commission ought to show greater respect for the Greek governmentís efforts and refrain from politically assessing its choices and supporting views imbued with dogmatism and obsessions, while ignoring the serious problems that the Greek people face. Community solidarity is a commitment for all, resulting from the European Union Treaty in force. It also defines, though, the framework of political behavior and public function of the representatives of the Unionís institutions," Papoutsis underlined. amna

    Hours earlier, Michele Cercone, a spokesman for EU Home Affairs commissioner Cecilia Malstroem, said "Commission did receive a request (from Athens) to co-finance the building of the fence ... Commissioner Malstroem has been very clear and the Commission has decided not to follow up on the request because it considers it pointless." amna

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