Greece will ask Northern European countries if they are willing to grant asylum to some 200 Syrian refugees camped out on Syntagma Square but does not expect to receive a positive response, Interior Ministry general secretary Angelos Syrigos told Kathimerini Tuesday.
“There is no intention from the countries of the north to take these people,” he said. “We will raise the issue but we should expect a stern response. It is almost certain our request will be turned down.”
Syrigos met with the protesting refugees, some of whom have been on hunger strike since last week, for a second time Tuesday and urged them to apply for asylum in Greece. The refugees, who have been camped out in front of Parliament for almost two weeks, are reluctant to do so because they fear this will prevent them from reaching other European countries, which are their intended destinations.
“Taking into account the situation they find themselves in, we have told them that they have to make a decision soon,” added Syrigos. “We did not ask them to leave now but we made clear that this situation cannot continue for many more days.”
Syrigos expressed concern that the Syrians are been manipulated by Greek groups for political reasons.