22:52 25.02.2016(updated 23:10 25.02.2016) Get short URL
Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1103)
Greek Migration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas said that Greece does not want to become the only state to offer asylum to all the refugees arriving in Europe.MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Greece does not want to become the only state to offer asylum to all the refugees arriving in Europe, Greek Migration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas said Thursday.
"Greece will not accept becoming Europe's Lebanon… Even if it is completely financed by the European Union," Mouzalas told journalists, referencing the fact that Lebanon has become a place of refuge for millions of migrants from all over the Middle East.
The Greek minister condemned EU states that have expressed their willingness to take unilateral measures to cut the refugee influx into their territories. According to Mouzalas, such moves will have a negative influence on the situation in the country.
On Wednesday, the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia met for the "Managing Migration Together" conference in Vienna. Greece was not invited to the meeting.
"Greece will not support unilateral actions, but it can also act in a unilateral way," the minister said before a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels.
Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, using the county as an entry point into the bloc from which they travel onward to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum.
The EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings into the European Union in 2015.