George Papandreou says it’s time Europe dealt with the refugee crisis before it gets further out of hand.
George Papandreou has predicted the refugee crisis will continue into the future during his appearance at a press conference at Istanbul’s Bogazici University on Monday.
“We will be seeing more and more refugee problems around the world, and Europe is a destination and will be a destination [for refugees] whether you want that or not,” Mr Papandreou said.
The president of the Socialist International went on to say that fences and walls would not be enough of a deterrent, “no matter how many” are built.
“It will not be only Syrians. As we know we have many from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Africa,” he said, stating that the next group of refugees would likely come from war-torn Yemen.
“So, we have to sit down and see how to move and really deal with this.”
The 63-year-old went on to praise the refugee action plan agreed upon between the EU and Turkey, stating that it is “a very important step”.
Under the plan, Turkey has promised to assist with the flow of refugees into Greece and the rest of Europe, so long as the EU speed-up membership talks and there is increased visa freedom.
During the conference, Mr Papandreou also touched upon the Cyprus issue.
He said that if a solution between the Turkish and Greek governments was to be reached in the short-term that it “would be an example” to other divided societies.
“We can show that there are other ways which are much better for societies,” he said.