“Given the harsh criticism by international public opinion you now say on the one hand that you have understood and that you have your own doubts on the legality and ethics of this agreement; on the other you're saying that this is what you were able to achieve and there is no key to the Holy Grail. This trick will not work. You cannot keep secret that it is the lack of European solidarity which brought us into this situation.
“We in the EU need to support Greece. But, we demand from Greece to send back refugees to Turkey and thereby to take the responsibility and to recognise that Turkey is a safe country which is not the case. The support promised by the EU is not being delivered so far. At the same time, Greece is being forced to carry out asylum checks at the very lowest levels. Basically what we are doing is reducing our standards. And if these are the standards we will use in the future as a basis for further agreements, we're moving away from our human rights standards, our principles and from our demands for humanity.
“We are strictly against qualifying Turkey under Erdogan as a safe country. We need to be clear that the requirements of a safe country include guaranteeing refugees' rights effectively.”
“There are reports showing that since mid-January, thousands of people are being sent back across borders to Syria and that people have even been shot. When are these issues going to be addressed? The EU and its member states have to recognise that they are moving away from its own human rights principles with the EU-Turkey deal.”