"The situation is dramatic. Much more needs to be done to start managing the situation", European Parliament President M. Schultz stated on November 5th, after his visit to Greece to assess the refugee situation.
While on the official two-day trip to Greece, M. Schulz had the opportunity to visit the Galatsi Sports Centre in Athens (currently hosting 2000 people) and the Moria camp (and future hotspot) in Lesbos, which registers 2.500 persons every day due to its close proximity to Turkey. "I witnessed the work being done by the Greek government and the intense commitment of European and international agencies and NGOs in dealing in the most humane and efficient way with those who arrive", he states.
"First of all it is urgent for the Greek authorities to complete the five designated hotspots. In this respect all efforts must be made by all parties to ensure that emergency funding and investments reach their destination quickly.
Secondly, to be effective, these centers need active relocation by all Member States in the proportions agreed in legally binding form in the Council.
Thirdly, we need an upgraded policy on returns for those who have no right to stay, and readmission agreements must be implemented or negotiated.
Fourthly, we must engage in a frank discussion with Turkey and implement our agreements step by step in a spirit of mutual cooperation, recognising the considerable efforts deployed by Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan in hosting people displaced due to the Syrian conflict".