German Deputy Interior Minister, Helmut Teichmann said that Greece did an excellent job guarding Europe’s border, but fell short of criticising Turkey for its illegal actions and dangerous behaviour.
He also called the relocation of 50 unaccompanied minors from Greece to Germany on Saturday the first step of many to come.
“We are taking a first step now and taking 50 unaccompanied children, but I can say from now on that it will not be the last. We are ready to take on a total of up to 350 children,” said the German Deputy Foreign Minister in an interview with ERT.
At the same time, he urged other European Union countries to take part in the initiative to relocate unaccompanied minors.
“Germany has always stressed, along with nine other EU states and our Greek counterparts, that we are looking for a European solution for the Greek islands,” he said in reference to the eastern Aegean islands that are flooded with illegal immigrants.
“Luxembourg and Germany have taken the first step. However, other steps must be taken by the rest of our European friends, who want to take part in the initiative and urge the rest of the states, which I am doing now, to plan the second step now and implement it after the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
On immigration, Teichmann noted that a new immigration pact, which would focus on the new rules of European asylum law, would be a priority for the German presidency in the second half of the year.
Germany’s pursuit, according to him, is a decongestion of states flooded with illegal immigrants, mainly Spain, Italy and Greece.
“Greece has been burdened a lot in recent years and we need strong external borders, which is a pillar of the new asylum law,” he said.
He did not fail to praise Greece for its work on the protection of Europe’s land border with Turkey on the Evros river.
“A state can secure the external borders, the events on the Evros river four weeks ago showed it. Here, Greece has done an excellent job of guarding Europe’s external borders,” said Taichmann.