Stein­meier un­der­lines need for co­op­er­a­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The refugee cri­sis, Greece’s bailout and re­gional is­sues were at the cen­ter of Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier’s dis­cus­sions yes­ter­day with Greek of­fi­cials in Athens, where he also sug­gested that lenders will take into ac­count the ex­tra money the gov­ern­ment has to spend due to the refugee in­flux.

“When we dis­cuss fis­cal is­sues, we also take into ac­count the next bur­den, which is waves of refugees,” said the Ger­man diplo­mat.

Greek For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias claimed that Greece is spend­ing five times as much on tack­ling the refugee cri­sis as the sav­ings it is be­ing asked to make from re­duc­tions to pen­sions.

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras stressed that the Euro­pean Union’s “main pri­or­ity” must be to en­sure to reach an un­der­stand­ing with Turkey so that it has the big­gest share of re­spon­si­bil­ity for man­ag­ing the in­flux of mi­grants.

Stein­meier noted that no sin­gle EU mem­ber could ad­dress the prob­lem on its own.

“I am con­vinced that we won’t get any­where if we just point the fin­ger at each other, if one con­sid­ers that the re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with the other,” Stein­meier said dur­ing a meet­ing in Athens with Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los.

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