Alexis Tsipras on asylum seeker deaths: 'We must mobilise to stop this tragedy'

Alexis Tsipras

Greek prime minister and leader of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras, released the statement below on April 20, which is abridged from .


The latest humanitarian tragedy, with hundreds of casualties off the coast of Lampedusa, fills us with sadness and worry. None of us can remain impassive when hundreds of souls are lost in the Mediterranean, in their effort to escape war and poverty.

Europe cannot invoke the supreme value of human life if it does not mobilise to stop this ongoing tragedy.

The Mediterranean must stop being a sea-cemetery and the southern European countries of the Mediterranean must stop being storage areas of human souls. The Mediterranean was and must again become a cradle of civilisation, communication, commerce and humanity.

I urgently appeal to the governments of the EU member states to immediately formulate a coherent plan in order to address the humanitarian crisis that we are facing.

A three-fold plan that must:

a) Upgrade the mechanisms of migration management, and of search and rescue in the Mediterranean;

b) Support of European Mediterranean countries that receive a much larger number of migrants and refugees than capacity allows, with a just allocation of assistance for the financial and hospitality burdens;

c) Undertake diplomatic initiatives for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya as well, in order to effectively address jihadism.

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