Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, stressed his deep disappointment over the European Union’s handling of the refugee crisis stating that he is “ashamed” to be a member Europe.
The PM answered several questions during his speech in the Greek Parliament on Friday while he pointed out the tragedy in Lesvos island, where at least eight refugees drowned on Wednesday.
"I feel ashamed as a member of this European leadership, both for the inability of Europe in dealing with this human drama, and for the level of debate at a senior level, where one is passing the buck to the other," Tsipras told parliament.
Furthermore, Tsipras said that the western governments share a large deal of responsibility on the crisis along with European countries who failed to save those people who drowned.
“I would like to point out that the Aegean Seas doesn't only wash up refugees but also the European culture.”
"These are hypocritical, crocodile tears which are being shed for the dead children on the shores of the Aegean. Dead children always incite sorrow. But what about the children that are alive who come in thousands and are stacked on the streets? Nobody likes them."
He said that it is Greece’s duty to save the lives of those who are in danger and cross the borders to build a new life. He pointed out that Greeks know what it is like to be a refugee and that anything resembling the tragedy of Lesvos island should not happen again.
Tsipras stated that Greece’s sea border with Turkey is the most important as the refugees who try to cross into Europe through sea route prefer to use this path.
As the PM was answering the lawmaker’s questions, Tsipras was asked what Greece has to gain from taking in refugees, answering that for Greece this is the humane thing to do.
"Greece is in crisis. We are a poor people, but we have retained our values and humanity, and we aren't claiming a single euro to do our duty to people who are dying in our back yard," Tsipras said, after an opposition lawmaker asked what Greece had received in return for agreeing to host refugees.
Refugees use Greece as a passage to Europe as they flee from war in Middle East. It is reported that more than 570,000 refugees left their countries since January and try to pass to Europe.