Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has blasted the European Union for not helping Greece care for unaccompanied migrant minors, launching a new program “No Child Alone” in a bid to protect them from “exploitation and criminality”.
The Prime Minister’s office will take charge of the new “No Child Alone” program, to make sure these children are not being abused and mistreated.
“We all recognise the national challenge of the migration issue that Greece is facing,” said PM Mitsotakis in an intervention on Sunday on the care of the unaccompanied children that are in Greece with the program “No Child Alone”.
“The problems on the islands are also known as well as the government’s organised initiatives with the support of all the Greek people. The major responsibilities of our neighbours and of Europe are also visible on a European problem that takes place in the eastern part of our continent” stated Mitsotakis.
However, he said, “There is a wound that we can close immediately by ourselves because it is dictated by the civilisation, the humanity, the sensibility and also by our tradition. I speak of the protection of the minors that are here unaccompanied, alone without anyone and without any hope. We can’t let them be lost in the exploitation and the crime. These little souls of the world can’t become victims of the guilty of this world. For this reason, I personally take over their case and concentrate all jurisdictions to the Prime Minister’s office”.
On Friday the Greek Prime Minister told deputies he had failed to persuade other EU states to accept around 3,000 unaccompanied minors.
“We attempted to reach an agreement with all EU states, saying ‘for God’s sake, we are talking about 3,000 children. Can they not be shared out among 27 countries so that Europe can show solidarity?” he said.
“Unfortunately, I regret to say the reply was not positive, and it does not do Europe justice,” he added.
Mitsotakis said that the government will try to cooperate with the European Union and with international organisations, NGO’s, agencies and institutions that are interested.
“All together we will succeed more. I start with a strict warning. Those criminals who torture and take advantage of children should be aware that the state will chase them relentlessly and will punish them without any mercy and will save these innocent creatures from their hands” he stressed.
Mitsotakis promised to quickly settle 4,000 children living on Greece’s Aegean islands in “miserable conditions” to accommodation where, he said, “they will live and be fed as dictated by their tender age, with the help of teachers, doctors, psychologists and with the warmth that, unfortunately, do not have from their parents.”
“As national coordinator I chose a woman with education, knowledge and huge experience in the human pain, Irini Agapidaki. By her side will be a stable supporter of the rule of law and of the human dignity, the writer Apostolos Doxiadis. Today Greece gives first the slogan of humanity: No Child Alone.”