An unfair attack on Ioannis Mouzalas | Letter

George Katrougalos, alternate foreign minister of Greece, responsible for European affairs, responds to an article criticising his government’s nomination of Ioannis Mouzalas as the Council of Europe’s human rights commissionerKostis Papaioannou and Vassilis Papadopoulos (Europe’s top human rights job deserves better. We urge Greece to choose again, 3 November) urge the Greek government to reconsider the candidature of its minister of migration, Ioannis Mouzalas, for the post of commissioner of human rights of the Council of Europe, on the ground that he backed a deal, ie the EU-Turkey agreement of March 2016, that “led to thousands of refugees and migrants being trapped”.

As a matter of fact and contrary to the above, the Greek government considers this candidature as one of high political and moral symbolism, and for the right reasons: Greece, despite facing a perfect storm of two colliding crises – the economic one and the refugee one – has consistently treated all asylum seekers with dignity, respect and humanity, having rescued from the sea thousands of them and provided adequate care and shelter. And in doing that, Greece and Greeks were unaffected by the climate of xenophobia and racism that surged in other, richer parts of Europe.

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