CoE representative says EU must help Greece with refugees
Greece cannot carry by itself all the burden of the refugee crisis and the EU must show its solidarity both on a legal and practical level, the special representative of the Council of Europe’s secretary general on migration and refugees, Tomas Bocek, said on Wednesday.
In statements in Greece to the press after a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas, Bocek congratulated the Greek people, the authorities and the volunteers for the hospitality they offer to the refugees and migrants who arrive to the country, adding that “we have to work to improve the situation”.
“There’s still room for improvement especially concerning the welcoming facilities, the living conditions, the underage [refugees] and other points, but, as I said, this cannot happen without more solidarity,” he said.
He also said that after visiting identification centres in Athens and Chios he now has a clearer picture of what is happening and how the Council of Europe can help.
On his side, Mardas said that the existence of a special representative on migration at the Council of Europe shows the international dimension of the problem “which is a given”. He thanked Bocek for the interest shown by the Council of Europe and for the fact that the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) stands by Greece to help tackle the problems facing the refugees.