Tsipras says pope’s visit to Lesvos is historic

Tsipras says pope’s visit to Lesvos is historic

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says Pope Francis' visit to the Greek island of Lesvos is a historic event and an important opportunity to highlight the need to find a legal route into Europe for those fleeing conflict.

Tsipras says he is proud of the Greek people for welcoming refugees and other migrants at a time when they are suffering under austerity measures imposed on Greece by the country's international lenders.

"I am proud of this, particularly at a time when some of our partners – even in the name of Christian Europe – were erecting walls and fences to prevent defenseless people from seeking a better life. That is why I consider that your visit is historic and important," Tsipras told Francis shortly after his arrival at the airport Saturday.

He said the pope's visit "is a very important opportunity to show the need to stop the war, the taking advantage of people and to give the possibility of a legal route for these people who leave their homes and search for a better future in Europe." [AP]

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