333,400 refugees have reached Europe in 2016, 3,940 of them have drowned in the sea grave of the Mediterranean in their attempt to escape from the miserable political and economic conditions they are experiencing in their countries.

The figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) give us once again the opportunity to express our grief and indignation at the continuing deadlock that exists in Syria and in other war-stricken countries which is forcing thousands of people to flee.

At the same time we express our condemnation for the EU’s failed policy in its handling of the refugee crisis.

The EU’s official policy is continuing to violate the professed principles of solidarity, to close borders, promote deportations and sign shameful agreements with Turkey with regards refugees in its effort to establish a fortress Europe. At the same time as hundreds of people are drowning in the sea, we see discussions taking place and decisions being approved that worsen the situation, perpetuate the reasons forcing people to become refugees and migrate, and which ultimately result in strengthening xenophobia and racism.

An additional problem is the fact that refugees managing to survive from drowning in their attempt to reach a “safe” destination, are being isolated in concentration camps and places of “exile” under filthy living conditions,.

AKEL demands that the EU must first and foremost implement measures to eliminate the root causes of the wars, the uprooting of people and migration.

Furthermore, it also demands:

  • Common law asylum system based on practical solidarity and equal sharing of burdens.
  • Establishment of legal and safe routes for the refugees.
  • A permanent, binding and fair refugee redistribution system.
  • Dignified refugee hosting areas addressing their traumatic experiences humanely.

Finally, AKEL calls on the Cypriot Government not to participate in any action that serves the EU and NATO policies of interventions and wars against the peoples, which unquestionably are the key root cause of the refugee problem.

Statement by the Head of Bureau on Migration Policy of the C.C. of AKEL Marina Koukou

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 2nd November 2016, Nicosia

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