Tsipras said so while receiving French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and his German counterpart Thomas De Maiziere, with the refugee crisis being on the top of the agenda of discussions.
The Greek leader stressed once again that the crisis concerned all European partners and neighboring countries and should be addressed with common efforts rather than leaving the burden on one country.
In 2015, more than 800,000 people reached Greece’s shores from Turkey on their way to other European countries. Greece is under escalating pressure to provide more help to refugees and guard its borders more efficiently.
Faced with calls of temporary expulsion from the Schengen zone unless it takes action to correct gaps soon, Athens is requesting more assistance from European partners.
The Greek government requested Turkey fulfill its commitments under the agreement reached in late 2015 with the EU on the management of the crisis.
The foreign officials stressed the need for more efficient border management in Greece, pledging immediate support. Greece must do its share, De Maiziere said.
“The EU can’t tolerate the same refugees’ inflow as in 2015,” Cazeneuve added, noting the European border protection force Frontex should be upgraded.
Greece will be supported with experts on the checking of fake documents in this context, the two officials said, calling on Athens to complete the construction of reception centers for refugees on the islands that meet basic humanitarian needs.
Greece has undertaken the commitment to create five hot spots on five Aegean Sea islands by mid-February. So far only one operates on Lesvos island.
The Greek government assured everything would be ready on time, but the project has met strong resistance by local authorities and communities in several cases who protest the camps are being planned with no prior consultation with locals.
On Friday, residents of Kos island scuffled with police outside an old military camp which is being turned into a hot spot. Three people were slightly injured and a journalist was detained, according to AMNA’s correspondent.
On Wednesday, protestors prevented a helicopter carrying Defense Minister Panos Kammenos from landing on the island’s heliport. Enditem