European Council President Tusk slammed for absence in Strasbourg
PR dla Zagranicy
European Council President Donald Tusk was criticised by the leader of one of the European Parliament's key groups for failing to be present in Strasbourg as MEPs discussed the refugee crisis.
he European Council President Donald Tusk arrives in the West Bank town of Ramallah, 9 September 2015, to meet the Palestinian National Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. EPA/ATEF SAFAD
Former Polish prime minister Tusk has been on a three-day tour of Turkey, Israel and Palestinian-controlled territories, where he has visited refugee camps and debated problems concerning immigration.
However, according to Gianni Pitella, President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, this is not a sufficient excuse.
“I know he is in the Middle East, but he should first talk with EU countries and start creating an asylum policy,” Pitella said.
“It is his job.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who gave a 'State of the Union' address on Wednesday morning, devoting much of his speech to the refugee crisis, has defended Tusk:
“It is not necessary to criticize him,” Juncker said.
“I consulted with him on my speech.
“Besides, his stay in Turkey is more important than his presence in the chamber during the debate,” he added.
During his 'State of the Union' address, Juncker called for EU member states to show 'solidarity' in taking in 160,000 refugees. (nh)