FM Kotzias: Greece Cannot Take Back Refugees From Northern Europe

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
Last Update: 15:40

Following comments by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière that Germany would be returning rejected asylum seekers to Greece once the asylum system has improved, Greece’s Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias responded saying that Greece has neither the funds or accommodations to take back refugees from other EU countries.

“Some EU countries think that they can use Italy and Greece as closed boxes, where refugees can be stored,” Kotzias told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview published on Thursday.

Also, on March 15 the European Commission suggested the reinstatement of the “Dublin rules” which details that refugees must claim asylum in the first European country they enter — meaning that Greece, Italy and Spain would be left to deal with the brunt of the migration crisis.

According to sources, kotzias stated that “this is not European thinking,” regarding the “Dublin Rules.”

“Greece has shown great humanity in the reception of refugees. But a new wave of refugees this summer would overwhelm us. Greece is at the limit of its potential,” he added.

So far there are over 60,000 migrants who are trapped in Greece, as their asylum claims are processed, waiting for resettlement. The closure of FYROM and other EU countries that share Greece’s border has made several Greek islands in the Aegean become “hotspots” where migrants are forced to live in overcrowded camps.

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