The SYRIZA MP spoke about the case of the 38 migrants on the island of Evros and Spiegel’s “apology” George Katrougalosemphasizing, among other things, how “the main issue of discussion at that time was whether EL.AS could to see what is happening on the island”.
In addition, Mr. Katrougalos emphasized to “Parapolitika 90.1” that he is not ready to accept the allegation of fake news, while for the two NGOs that applied to Strasbourg for temporary protection he said that it does not undermine, but that it promotes the image of the country .
Asked to comment on the statement by government officials that they expect from the official opposition an apology for the management and treatment of the case with the 38 immigrants on the islet of Evros: “I think this is an exercise of audacity on the part of the government. Let me remind you that the main topic of discussion at that time was beyond whether or not the refugee child had died on the islet, if the Greek police could see what was happening on the islet because according to the government’s claims it was entirely Turkish. I even remind you that Mr. Theodorikakos had called on the Turkish forces to intervene on this islet. My own intervention and that of the SYRIZA MPs with a parliamentary question was on this issue. The answer came from the Ministry of National Defense, which is the responsible ministry, and it completely vacated the positions of the two ministers, Mr. Mitarakis and Mr. Theodorikakos.”
Regarding Spiegel’s “apology”: “Spiegel did not apologize, it placed itself with a retrospective analytical article on the reports it had made, on the two critical issues it confirmed the self-evident, one being that we have an answer from the Greek government that the island was for the most part Greek. Regarding the death of the refugee child, he said that the information is contradictory and one cannot have a specific position since we have the statements of four refugees in addition to the statements of the family, which I remind you has requested an exhumation, does not admit that there was no dead person. So I am not ready at this moment to accept the claim of fake news.”
Referring to mixing of the two Greek NGOs in the case of the 38 migrants on the island of Evros: “I know both organizations well and I can assure you that they are serious organizations. I do not rule out the fact that there are NGOs that should be investigated for the seriousness of their purposes, and I am talking about all sectors, not only for refugees, but the two specific NGOs are among the most serious ones involved in this matter, in close cooperation with the Council of Europe and the EU. I remind you that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights have not been revoked, they were about the fact that temporary protection should be granted to the specific refugees, which is within the scope of the competences and a fixed jurisprudence is followed on the issue this. Assuming that an organization advocating for the rights of refugees is by definition guilty raises valid concerns. For a refugee rights organization to intervene based on the evidence it knows at the time is not undermining the country, on the contrary, it confirms in Europe that we are a country that respects humanitarian and refugee rights and law. So the organizations that appeal to the Council of Europe are doing very well. They help refugees to be exact. I believe that what the two organizations did in terms of the temporary protection they requested in Strasbourg was something that not only does not undermine but promotes the image of the country abroad which is damaged when the belief is created that we are a country that does not respect the law and proceeds to push backs. From then on, the fact that these organizations may have accepted what they knew about the existence or not of the refugee child, which I told you and I think is an issue to be investigated, I do not adopt the claim of fake news, they cannot be attributed to for the simple reason that the immigration minister himself, when he welcomed the refugees, repeated the allegation of the existence of a dead child.
My own impression is that even today I find it hard to believe that a mother would fabricate the death of her child. I still consider the matter to be investigated and in no way endorse the claim of fake news. I think that there was a very big deception of the Greek people by the government in terms of the management of the issue precisely because it initially insisted and has not apologized until now, as to the fact that the islet was Turkish. If our own forces had intervened in time, we wouldn’t be discussing this issue, there wouldn’t be a refugee drama, we wouldn’t have question marks”.
With reference to the legislative intervention of the government which will prevent the descent in the elections of the Kasidiaris party: “I believe that there should be constitutional intervention despite the difficulties, but I also believe that this intervention should be oriented towards dealing with neo-Nazism and neo-fascism. The problem with the wording of the ND’s proposal is that it does not exactly specify as a request to deal with neo-fascism and this provision could possibly be used to exclude other parties from the electoral process.
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