The European Union needs a "common policy" on the refugee crisis while the member-states must immediately implement the relocation programme in order to reduce the refugee population in Greece, which is under great pressure, Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Wednesday, in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
De Sousa also highlighted Greece's "brave" stance toward refugees and noted that Portugal has always had a very "open" position on this issue, showing solidarity with that of Greece.
The Portuguese president, who is currently on an official visit to Greece, made the statements during a visit to the refugee reception centre in Thiva, accompanied by Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas.
"Unfortunately, there are countries that create problems but we must continue to struggle so that it becomes possible to swiftly find a compromise on the issue of migration and the refugee crisis," he noted. He indicated that Portugal is open to the possibility of accepting another 1,000 refugees from Greece.
As regards himself, de Sousa revealed that refugees that he spoke with at the Thiva camp had sought his help and that he intended to look into whether this would be possible upon his return. One was a family that wished to come to Portugal to work, he said, while the second was a first year student of law, who hoped to continue his studies at Lisbon University.