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Alternate FM Xydakis to visit Austria, Hungary, Slovakia

Monday, 08 February 2016

The Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Nikos Xydakis, will visit Austria, Slovakia and Hungary – three countries that are on the “refugee corridor” and are playing a major role in the refugee crisis – from Monday to Wednesday, 8 to 10 February.

On Monday, Mr. Xydakis will be visiting Vienna, where he will meet with Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner and the Secretary General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Dr. Michael Linhart.

On Tuesday, Mr. Xydakis will travel on to Bratislava, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák, and the Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Ivan Korčok.

Mr. Xydakis will complete his tour on Wednesday, in Budapest, where he will meet with Hungary’s Interior Minister, Sándor Pintér, Deputy Minister of State for European Affairs, Takács Szabolcs Ferenc, and Economic Diplomacy Minister, Levente Magyar.

The purpose of Mr. Xydakis’ trip is to brief his colleagues on Greece’s positions: The fact, that is, that Greece is guarding its borders, which are also Europe’s borders, together with the European organization Frontex. By the same token, however, Greece does not sink boats carrying refugees, because this would be a flagrant violation of European values and international conventions.

Mr. Xydakis will highlight Greece’s contribution on the refugee issue (the rescuing, in collaboration with Frontex, of over 105,000 persons) and will ask for the implementation of the European Council’s recent decisions on the joint handling of this historic crisis, with proportionality and solidarity. He will also ask for further material and moral assistance from the European partners; assistance that contrasts with any thought of suspending the Schengen Area, closing borders or hanging a new iron curtain, which would greatly jeopardize the historic endeavor of the European Union.