Refugee crisis: Establishing control of refugees took precedence over providing humanitarian aid
First hotspot inaugurated on Lesvos (ekathimerini.com, link): "If this had taken place 10 months ago, we could have avoided what we went through this summer, Avramopoulos said. More importantly, we would have been able to treat all those people who are seeking for a better life in Europe in a more humane manner, he said. Additional hotspots on Chios, Samos, Kos, and Leros are expected to be fully operational by end-November."
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:
"Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos's statement does not hold water. His DG produced on 13 January 2015 a: "Fact Sheet: Facts and Figures on the arrivals of migrants in Europe" (pdf) predicting what was to unfold this year - it said 276,113 refugees had arrived in 2014. The simple truth is that the EU had no plans to swiftly put in place humanitarian aid and protection from January 2015 in Italy and Greece. This aid has only come now, ten months late, with the so-called "hotspots" which ties aid to registration and fingerprinting (with "proportionate coercion" if necessary). Estabilishing control of refugees took precedence over providing a "humane" response"
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