PM to broach debt issue amid pressure over migration
The European Union Summit on Wednesday in Brussels will primarily deal with the refugee crisis, the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA) and relations with Russia, but, nonetheless, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appears determined to bring the issue of Greek debt to the table.
To this end he has scheduled meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz in a bid to sound them out about a time frame for talks on Greek debt relief.
However, Greek attention will also be focused on the refugee crisis and the future of the Dublin Regulation, which Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas described on Wednesday as a danger to Europe if it is not changed.
According to the Dublin Regulation, migrants’ asylum applications must be examined in the country of first entry into the EU, but their relocation to other countries in the bloc – as stipulated in a March agreement between Turkey and Brussels – has been limited, leaving thousands stranded in Greece.
In a meeting on Wednesday with Mouzalas, Schulz acknowledged the need to speed up relocations to the EU, but blamed Greece for the low rate of returns to Turkey of migrants whose requests were rejected – also stipulated in the March deal.