Wednesday, 1 December 2021 | News today: 0

Greek PM Tsipras says shamed by Europe’s handling of migrant crisis


Greece’s Prime Minister said on Friday he was ashamed to be a member of a European Union he said was passing the buck over the migrant crisis and crying hypocritical tears for the children who have drowned trying to reach the bloc, Reuters reports.

In some of the hardest-­hitting comments yet on a crisis resonating throughout Europe, Alexis Tsipras told parliament Greece didn’t want a “single euro” for saving lives as thousands of refugees continued to arrive daily on its shores, and the EU remained at odds on how to deal with the influx. At least 35 people drowned attempting to cross the sea between Turkey and Greece this week, bringing a death toll this year to about 3,000. There are many children among the victims.

“I feel shamed as a member of this European leadership, both for the inability of Europe in dealing with this human drama, and for the level of debate at a senior level, where one is passing the buck to the other,” Tsipras told parliament.

Greece has been a transit point for more than 500,000 refugees and migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East and beyond since January, triggering bickering among European nations.

“These are hypocritical, crocodile tears which are being shed for the dead children on the shores of the Aegean. Dead children always incite sorrow, But what about the children that are alive who come in thousands and are stacked on the streets? Nobody likes them.” Tsipras was speaking during prime ministers’ question time.

He was asked to explain Greece’s agreement to temporarily host up to 50,000 refugees pending their relocation to other countries. The agreement was brokered at a meeting of several European nations last Sunday in Brussels.