NEWS

Party leaders to discuss migrant crisis on Friday

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Greece’s party leaders are due to meet at noon on Friday in an attempt to find some rare common ground regarding the country’s approach to the refugee crisis.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called President Prokopis Pavlopoulos Monday to ask him to convene the meeting, which is to be attended by the leaders of all the parliamentary parties apart from far-right Golden Dawn.

Earlier, Tsipras had called New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis to inform him of his plans. The prime minister acted after repeated calls from the opposition leaders, Mitsotakis in particular, to hold the meeting before he heads to Brussels for the summit between the European Union and Turkey on March 7 to discuss ways in which the flow of migrants can be addressed.

Mitsotakis has ratcheted up his criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis in recent days, saying that it did not “inspire trust.” “The government has proved unable to put in place a plan to handle an emergency situation,” he added.

The conservative chief proposed a six-point plan for dealing with the situation: Put to use all the resources available to the state, including the army; create all the necessary open and closed facilities by the end of the week; improve  coordination between central and local government; ensure that NATO and Frontex patrols will be effective in tackling trafficking; use all EU funding available and request emergency funds; and take steps to improve Greece’s image.