Expressing strong reservations and calls for clarification by the Ionian Regional Governor Rodi Kratsa Tsagaropoulou on the issue of the division of refugees and highlights the specifics of the Ionian Islands.
“Three principles are certainly non-negotiable: the security of our borders, solidarity with refugee-affected areas, and humanitarian aid to refugees. In this context, there were discussions with the leadership of the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the representatives of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the issue of the congestion of the eastern Aegean islands by the large number of refugees proportionate to their population size, such as the increase in arrivals observed.
The political response to this crisis has many parameters. It depends on an effective Agreement with Turkey, on European solidarity in the division of refugees and on our support for their repatriation, as well as on government policy at home on the time and conditions of refugee accommodation.
So we are expecting a complete plan to position ourselves as local communities. In any case, however, we have expressed our reservations, stressing those proposals for the allocation and selection of refugee reception sites must take into account the particular circumstances and needs of each region.
The Ionian Islands are small and can hardly become a “melting pot”, while our economy needs skilled personnel, not the unskilled labour that refugees can provide directly and is useful for other areas. I stressed that our islands are suffering from the prolonged crisis of waste management failure and today are being severely tested by the effects of the collapse and Thomas Cook. I also reminded them that the islands that are in demand and that they care for national and social reasons are also the Diapontia Islands of Cofu.”
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