Nikolaos Voutsis: “With embarrassment and political hypocrisy, we found ourselves up against the sharp rise of refugee flows”

“We need to recognise that in Europe – with great delay, embarrassment and an obvious sense of surprise, which includes an added dose of political hypocrisy – we have found ourselves up against a sharp rise in refugee and migrant flows, when indeed in the last decade at least, there were similar precursors with thousands of innocent victims in the Mediterranean,” said Nikolaos Voutsis, President of the Hellenic Parliament, addressing the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.

Co-presenting the theme ‘Migration and refugee crisis in Europe – role and responsibilities’, Mr Voutsis added: “Observing international refugee law, co-operating on addressing security issues arising from asymmetric threats which have led to victims in European capitals, and addressing in an immediate and long-term fashion all the real causes leading to the rise of the aforementioned phenomena – all of these things could be plausible goals, if we uphold our promises and turn them into action, and if we deepen our values.”