NEWS

Tsipras decries lack of EU solidarity on refugees

TAGS: Migration, EU, Diplomacy

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had an opportunity on Thursday to present to his European Union counterparts the progress Greece has made in meeting requirement regarding the refugee crisis but also to voice his complaints about the stance of some of its partners.

Following the hints earlier this week by the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) that they would tighten border controls, Austria indicated it would limit the number of asylum applications that it accepts to 80 a day. This prompted Tsipras to hit out at the lack of solidarity within the EU in its response to the crisis.

“Europe cannot be rules for some and a la carte for others,” he said before the summit.

Tsipras met with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on the summit’s sidelines to discuss Prague’s stance on the matter.

“If Greece and Turkey do not dramatically decrease the number of migrants coming to EU in next few weeks, then talk about closing the borders of Central Europe and securing the borders of Western Balkans will become a new reality,” Sobotka warned ahead of the meeting.

Sources said that during the meeting Tsipras described the Czech Republic’s decision to send army and police personnel to help guard the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s border with Greece as an “unfriendly act.”

Tsipras also urged Sobotka to allow the latest measures that have been adopted, including the presence of NATO in the Aegean, time to have an impact.

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