The president of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, accused Europe of hypocrisy in an exclusive statement to EURACTIVE. “We count hundreds of dead and some are only talking about money in the host countries, a new European agreement on Migration and Asylum is needed,” he said.

In particular, Mr. Tsipras states that “Someone in Europe should stop being ‘hypocrites’ about immigration, regarding international law as ‘obsolete’ and should instead focus on how much money should be allocated to those countries that will host refugees, the leader of the main left-wing opposition in Greece and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras told in an exclusive statement.

“It is the utmost hypocrisy to count hundreds of dead men, women and children at the bottom of the Mediterranean and for some in Brussels, Athens, Budapest or Berlin to consider international law a ‘luxury’ or ‘obsolete’ and tell us that everything Must let’s discuss how many euros will be given to countries to host refugees there,” said Mr. Tsipras.

Then, referring to the deadly shipwreck of migrants off the Greek coast, which claimed the lives of potentially hundreds of migrants, the SYRIZA president said: “It demonstrates in the clearest way the failure not only of Greece but of the entire EU to promote a structured refugee/immigration policy that puts saving human life as the first priority”.

Mr Tsipras added that the negotiation of an EU deal on migration and asylum must fundamentally change direction and focus on ensuring “legal and safe routes, resettlement of refugees from third countries to EU member states in a fair way”. He also stressed that a significant number of annual hosting places (pledges) in European countries must be guaranteed.

Mr. Tsipras added that: “The more we strengthen legal, safe routes and the more we upgrade the role of the EU and our cooperation on migration with third countries in the Mediterranean, the weaker will be the networks of smugglers and the illegal and dangerous routes they create ».

On Thursday, Alexis Tsipras had a phone call with EU Migration Commissioner Ylva Johansson, calling it a “shame” for Europe to have the Mediterranean Sea “strewn with corpses”. According to Frontex, it is estimated that more than 600 people were on board, while at least 400 are still missing.

The president of SYRIZA visited the survivors of the fatal accident on Thursday. He then posted a photo on Facebook – described by Greek media as a gut punch – of a teenage survivor searching for his brother after the wreck.

To the question “how much is a human life worth?” Mr. Tsipras replied that “it is origin, color, financial ability. Unfortunately, the value of life is not the same today for all people […] ». Concluding, he stated that: “We have chosen a side: With man, without conditions. And as the reality becomes harsher, our stubbornness to defend equality, justice and humanity grows.”