Greece Spends All Money Received from EU to Handle Migrant Crisis: Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Finances received by Athens from the EU as part of a bailout program are of hardly any help to Greece, the country’s deputy foreign minister told RT on Thursday.
The official claimed that all of the money goes to tackle what he described as “humanitarian disaster.”
Saying that, although its EU partners have been helping Greece “in many ways,” Greece’s alternate foreign minister responsible for European affairs, Nikos Xydakis, told RT that his nation is “under constant pressure.”
Despite more than a million people arriving in Greece over past year, its government has managed to handle the migrant situation and “put it under control.” The Mediterranean country is now relying on “long term cooperation” with the EU that will help the continent overcome its “humanitarian disaster,” the official said in an exclusive interview.
To ensure geopolitical balance in the region, Greece needs money – which it sometimes does not receive as promised, the diplomat said. “We have been promised money which we are currently waiting for. The help didn’t come on time,” Xydakis said, adding that when Athens does receive the funds, they will be used to deal with the migrant crisis “in the first place.”
“Greece is sort of trapped, as the payments should be sustainable for the nation,” the official said, before comparing the bailout program to a two-way blood transfusion: “We have an IV line in our left hand that gives us blood, and on the right hand we have an IV line that takes it.”
Asserting that as a nation Greece has done “everything possible to overcome the economic crisis within the country,” the politician said they now expect “solidarity” from their EU partners, although he added that they have been “cheated” in the past – as in 2010, when Greece had “fallen victim” to the EU’s decision to help the country’s banks instead of its people.
The diplomat also said that anti-Russia sanctions do not help the Greeks, who are against such measures. “It is now time for all EU members to review its policy [towards Russia]. Voices of those who say that the issue should be solved at negotiations table, and that sanctions must not be renewed automatically and blindly, are becoming stronger within the bloc,” Xydakis said.