Greek, Austrian leaders reiterate determination to address refugee crisis

October 7, 2015 10:13 am 

ATHENS, Oct. 7 — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann reiterated on Tuesday their countries' determination to jointly address the ongoing refugee crisis within the European framework during their visit to the Aegean Sea island of Lesvos.

Tsipras welcomed the Austrian leader for the second time in four months in Greece and together they visited reception and identification centers at Lesvos, which has received about half of the 380,000 migrants and refugees who have reached Greek shores from nearby Turkey this year.

"Together we had the opportunity to witness a different image of Europe; the continent's good profile, the face of solidarity," Tsipras said at the end of the tour.

The Greek Premier stressed that debt-laden Greece could not possibly handle such an enormous challenge on its own and provide basic aid to people who are fleeing war-torn regions seeking a better future in Europe.

The Chancellor pledged that Austria would enhance bilateral cooperation with Greece for the management of the refugee influx. As well, the Chancellor said his country would provide imminent support with funds and human resources to operate so-called "hotspots" on the frontline of the crisis.

The two leaders held talks with officials, refugees, volunteers and local heroes such as Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a Greek Coast Guard official who was responsible for saving more than 5,000 people in recent months.

According to Greek Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas who joined the tour at Lesvos, the Greek Coast Guard has rescued more than 75,000 people in the past nine months in the Aegean Sea. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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