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Greece: Tsipras urges EU states to 'behave responsibly' towards refugee crisis03:27

Greece: Tsipras urges EU states to 'behave responsibly' towards refugee crisis

Greece, Athens
February 25, 2016 at 08:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed Europe's response to the ongoing refugee crisis while addressing the Greek parliament in Athens, Wednesday.

"We have to admit that so far, the way Europe is handling the refugee crisis is disappointing. It is clear today that some fail to understand that either our common rules apply to all or there are no rules at all. Some fail to understand that either our joint agreements are observed by all or there are no agreements," Tsipras said, before adding: "No one, in Greece or in Europe, can forget that over the past summer, Greece faced the firing squad in the name of common rules and in the name of the principle that agreements must be observed."

The Greek leader's comments came after Austria and nine Balkan states agreed on a series of measures to slow the flow of refugees and migrants entering Europe during a conference in Vienna, Wednesday. Tsipras hit out at Austria for failing to invite Greece to the conference and for striking a deal with the Balkan states that disproportionately affects Greece.

"Something even worse has happened and it's a shame for the way Europe functions; leaders take decisions at the EU summit and these decisions are later cancelled by decisions taken during meetings and talks between the police chiefs of only some states, in fact not just EU member states, but also non-members along the 'Balkan route,'" Tsipras stated, adding that "it is unacceptable when a country with a long history in the EU, Austria, calls refugee meetings without inviting the countries most directly concerned."

"Greece has no other choice but to demand its partners to behave responsibly, exactly the same way that we are behaving in dealing with a crisis that has pushed onto a small country a very disproportionate burden," the Greek prime minister concluded.

Greece: Tsipras urges EU states to 'behave responsibly' towards refugee crisis03:27
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed Europe's response to the ongoing refugee crisis while addressing the Greek parliament in Athens, Wednesday.

"We have to admit that so far, the way Europe is handling the refugee crisis is disappointing. It is clear today that some fail to understand that either our common rules apply to all or there are no rules at all. Some fail to understand that either our joint agreements are observed by all or there are no agreements," Tsipras said, before adding: "No one, in Greece or in Europe, can forget that over the past summer, Greece faced the firing squad in the name of common rules and in the name of the principle that agreements must be observed."

The Greek leader's comments came after Austria and nine Balkan states agreed on a series of measures to slow the flow of refugees and migrants entering Europe during a conference in Vienna, Wednesday. Tsipras hit out at Austria for failing to invite Greece to the conference and for striking a deal with the Balkan states that disproportionately affects Greece.

"Something even worse has happened and it's a shame for the way Europe functions; leaders take decisions at the EU summit and these decisions are later cancelled by decisions taken during meetings and talks between the police chiefs of only some states, in fact not just EU member states, but also non-members along the 'Balkan route,'" Tsipras stated, adding that "it is unacceptable when a country with a long history in the EU, Austria, calls refugee meetings without inviting the countries most directly concerned."

"Greece has no other choice but to demand its partners to behave responsibly, exactly the same way that we are behaving in dealing with a crisis that has pushed onto a small country a very disproportionate burden," the Greek prime minister concluded.

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