The leaders of the opposition who participated in the political leaders meeting held on Friday morning were shocked by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ statement. According to sources, he admitted that he “cannot separate the refugees from immigrants”.
At the beginning of the meeting the Prime Minister gave to the political leaders a brown envelope which contained information and data on the refugee and the work of the bodies involved in the management of the refugee issue.
According to the announcement issued by Prime Minister’s Office “data concern the number of refugees hosted, the progress made in establishing refugee reception infrastructure, registering and hospitality, supplied food, medical care, accommodation of unaccompanied children, and the timetables for constructing new infrastructure”.
“These numbers show clearly and comprehensively government’s plan for the management of the refugee issue” the statement said.
The leader of Union of Centrists Vassilis Leventis threatened that he would not discuss the refugee, unless the possibility of a national unity government was first discussed.
PASOK president Fofi Gennimata insisted to establish a government of national responsibility, stating, though, that she would remain at the meeting even if this was not discussed.
The leaders of the Greek political parties arrived at Presidential Mansion shortly after 12 to discuss the refugee issue.
The meeting was scheduled after the request of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to inform the opposition on the latest developments and the government’s position on the refugee flows.
Leader of Union of Centrists Vassilis Leventis arrived first accompanied by his son and MP Marios Georgiadis, while president of the New Republic Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrived second along with party’s spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos.
The leader of POTAMI, Stavros Theodorakis, arrived third, while Secretary of Communist Party of Greece Dimitris Koutsoumpas entered the building fifth, followed by PASOK president Fofi Gennimata and president of the Independent Greeks Panos Kammenos.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was the last one to arrive accompanied by government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili and director of the prime minister’s press office Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.
Although forming national policy on dealing with the refugee issue is a wishful thinking for all, the political confrontation between the government and the opposition parties and the different point of views do not leave any room for consensus at today’s meeting.