Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, sent a strong message to Europe and Turkey during his speech at the 74th United Nations General Assembly Meeting, stating “Greece can no longer carry the burden of the migrant crisis alone.”
After touching on fighting climate change, Mitsotakis focused on the need for nations to share the burden of migration and refugee flows, the burden of which Greece has had to handle alone throughout the migration movement of recent years, as the country at the EU borders and the forefront of refugee arrivals by sea.
“We are one of the top four EU members in terms of migrant flows,” Mitsotakis noted, and “we have the highest per capita ratio of migrants in Europe.”
He added that Greece respected the human rights of migrants and refugees and would remain committed to them, “but we are reaching the limit of our ability” to deal with this issue, which is a European challenge.
“Greece cannot bear the burden of their mass movements alone. People fleeing wars and oppression or just looking for a better future. ”
He noted that “these people do not have Greece as their final destination. They come to Europe crossing borders, which mostly happens to be Greek borders. The suffering of these people cannot be turned into a weapon to service political means by anyone anywhere. ”
The PM reiterated his call “for comprehensive solutions and fair sharing of the burden.” As he pointed out, countries that enjoy the Schengen zone benefits cannot refuse to share the burden of migration, “a massive movement of fleeing people that Greece cannot bear alone.”
PM Mitsotakis also expressed support for the EU-Turkey agreement, adding that Turkey needed to do much more and the EU needed to continue providing Turkey with help to deal with the thousands of refugees it was housing.
*Watch the full speech here-