Statement: Nasc strongly condemns EU measures on the Greece-Turkey border
The response of the EU to the humanitarian crisis on the border between Turkey and Greece has been deeply shocking. Yesterday (03rd March) European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced €700m in EU funds for Greece, including a rapid border intervention squad of offshore vessels, coastal patrol boats, two helicopters, one aircraft, three thermal-vision vehicles, and 100 border guards to reinforce the 530 Greek officers already at the land and sea borders.
Nasc strongly condemns the EU’s response of further militarising the border and supporting Greece’s efforts to repel asylum seekers in need of sanctuary.
Nasc’s CEO Fiona Finn: “It is clear that the dubious EU-Turkey deal has now failed with the predicable consequence that desperate asylum seekers have become unwitting pawns in a geo-political struggle with lethal consequences.
The scenes of children being teargassed at the border and the death of a four-year old in the sea off Lesbos should haunt our collective consciences. There has been an abject, moral failing to treat those in need of sanctuary with compassion or people worthy of dignity and human rights. In the 21st century age of instant communication, we cannot say that we did not know that this was happening.”
Fiona Finn continues, “There is no doubt that Greek authorities are struggling with the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers already in Greece but surely a more appropriate form of solidarity with Greece is to commit to sharing resources and the burden of processing and accommodating new asylum applications. With a population of over 500 million, EU Member States should be able to absorb the numbers at the Greek border.”
It is disheartening to see that humanitarian interventions have been largely absent from the discussions. There are possible solutions in the form of humanitarian visas, relocation programmes or triggering the Temporary Protection Directive.
There are mechanisms in place, however the will to utilise them appears to be missing.
Media Contact: Fiona Finn
Phone: +353 (0)86 050 1507