World Refugee Day commemorated on June 20 stands for the “mission our country is called to carry out daily as a vigilant guard of the eastern borders of Europe,” the Ministry of Migration & Asylum said on Saturday.
“Greece has been at the center of the migration crisis, bearing a disproportionate burden that what it should. The Greek system of reception and the reserves of humanitarianism of the Greek people were sorely tried and they held,” the ministry said in a message, as Greece keeps its obligations. “It secures the rights of the truly persecuted, but mostly it acts as a shield of solidarity across the East Mediterranean,” it added.
However, Greece has rights as well, and these will be provided by the forthcoming EU migration policy and an updated EU-Turkey Joint Declaration on distinguishing between refugees and economic migrants, offering the former a secure environment and showing the latter the way back to their countries. This, it said, will be “a balanced policy that institutionally protects the refugee status, upgrades reception and hosting facilities and radiates the image of a country, and therefore a Europe, that is generous and accessible to those who truly need it.”
Adding his own message on social media for the World Refugees Day, Alternate Migration & Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said that it serves as a reminder “of the obligation for international solidarity towards refugees” and said that “Greece, a border of Europe, carries out its obligations with respect to laws, human rights and its national security.”