European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “Europe is Greece’s supporter in practice and, essentially, Europe is a protective umbrella for Greece” during his speech at the Olympia Forum organised by the newspaper “Patris” in Ancient Olympia on Sunday.
“At the time that a geopolitical crisis from Tunisia to Ukraine is generalised, we (Greece) are at its outskirts and we must safeguard one of our comparative advantages which is safety and stability,” he said.
Avramopoulos also referred to the upcoming European elections noting that “they will be the most crucial elections since the establishment of the European Union, as forces of populism will seek to gain force and question the European endeavour”.
As he said “there is always the risk of returning to the dark past, to the dark pages of the modern European history, and before this challenge, the European democratic forces must stand up and assume their responsibilities to prevent any return to the times of the interior conflicts and competitiveness. We can’t allow Europe’s return to its dark past”.
On the migration issue, Avramopoulos said that today conditions are much better than 2015 but much more must be done. “We are concerned over the conditions on some islands but if those we have provided are met then today’s picture will cease to exist anymore because – with the full implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement in combination with the support we offer to Greece and to the Greek islands – we will be in position to put an end to a phenomenon that does not honour us at all”. He estimated, however, that the migration will continue for many years and Europe must be better prepared along with its member-states that bore the heaviest burden.