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GreekReporter.comGreeceIrish Minister and Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald Visit Athens' Refugee Centers Displaying 'Active...

Irish Minister and Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald Visit Athens' Refugee Centers Displaying 'Active Form of Solidarity'

frances fitzgeraldOn Tuesday, Frances Fitzgerald, the Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality visited the refugee reception centers in the Athens district of Elaionas and in the Skaramangas district of Piraeus, accompanied by the Irish ambassador to Greece. During her visit to the center in Skaramangas, she was also accompanied by Greece’s Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas.
Fitzgerald spoke with refugees and volunteers at the centers, listening to their concerns and their desire to reach a country where they can settle permanently and safety. With Mouzalas, she also spoke with representatives of some 700 Yazidis living at the Skaramangas center, including two Yazidi families from Iraq whose applications for relocation to France and Germany had been rejected.
“Yazidis are under constant persecution and cannot return to their homeland,” their representative said.
In statements to the media, Fitzgerald said that Ireland will accept 1,200 refugees from Greece by the end of September 2017 under the relocation program, thus meeting its obligation on a European level.
She emphasized that European solidarity in managing refugee flows was essential, since it was impossible for a country to face such a huge influx unaided. She also praised the efforts of the Greek people to manage such a large number of people with complex needs.
Mouzalas said the Irish minister’s presence was an “active form of solidarity” and that they would discuss the possibilities for relocating refugees to Ireland. This was especially significant, he added, because Ireland was not currently obliged to accept relocation due to special conditions.
The two ministers additionally discussed the possibilities for programs targeting asylum seekers who are not eligible for relocation, such as non-Syrian unaccompanied minors or Yazidis from Iraq.
“They need special programs and this is something that Europe needs to discuss at this time,” Fitzgerald said.
Source: ANA-MPA

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