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Greece Recalls Ambassador to Vienna in Row over Worsening Migrant Issue

Published: February 25, 2016; 19:45 · (Vindobona)

By decision of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna, H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi, is being called to Athens for consultations aimed at "safeguarding the relations" between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.

Greek's Ambassador to Vienna H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi / Picture: © Flickr / IAEA

By decision of the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna has been withdrawn in a sign of the mounting acrimony between Austria and Greece over the EU's refugee policies.

Greece’s foreign ministry accused the Austrian government in a statement as follows: "It is clear that the major problems of the European Union cannot be confronted via thoughts, attitudes and extra-institutional initiatives that have their roots in the 19th century, and nor can the decisions of the heads of state be supplanted by directives from police directors.

"The latter is a major problem for democracy. It points to the need for the European Union to be protected from various parties who are ignorant of history."



Greek Embassy Vienna Palais Vrints zu Falkenstein

Greek Embassy Vienna Palais Vrints zu Falkenstein

Nikos Kotzias says, that "Unilateral initiatives for resolving the refugee crisis, along with violations of international law and the European acquis by member states of the EU, are practices that can undermine the foundations and process of European integration. Responsibility for dealing with the migration and refugee crisis cannot weigh on one country alone. Common sense dictates that effective handling of this complex problem should be governed by the principles of solidarity and fair burden sharing."

Athens and Berlin are angry, that they have not been invited to yesterday's Western Balkans Conference. Some 18 countries, excluding Germany and Greece have disscused about the “Western Balkans route”, to agree policies that could bottle up tens of thousands of refugees in Greece indefinitely.