British singer-songwriter Sting praised Greece for setting the bright example and stepping up to support the thousands of incoming migrants, slamming in the meantime, world officials for looking the other way.
Speaking at an Amnesty International event held at Athens International Airport (AIA) on Saturday, Sting said world leaders were “half men and cowards” for failing to resolve the refugee crisis.
Despite facing a severe financial crisis, Greece has had to face the brunt of the incoming migrant flows, supporting some one million refugees passing through its borders since 2015.
“Thank God for Greece because you have shown the way,” the former Police frontman said, adding that “you have shown how to treat refugees when other people are building walls. When children are being taken from their mothers and put in cages, you are acting with compassion and generosity,” he said during an event at AIA within Amnesty International’s global “I Welcome” campaign which included the presentation of the “I Love Greece” tapestry at AIA’s arrivals section. The tapestry was designed by Greek artist Sophia Vari.
“Fleeing the atrocity of war and persecution, more than one million people have gone through Greece in the past years in order to offer their families hope for a safe and decent life. The majority of people in our country did not shut their eyes, they did not hide or express fear, contrary to most European governments. The people demonstrated solidarity to those who needed it most, leaving racism and xenophobia aside,” said Gabriel Sakellaridis, director Amnesty International Greece.
Sting, who was in the Greek capital for two concerts at Athens’ ancient Irodion Theater, sent out a strong message of solidarity.
“Because our so-called leaders, a sad parade of half-men, cowards, have not got the solutions… Once again Greece has shown us how to be civilized,” he added.
“For over 30 years, I have actively supported Amnesty International’s work to defend and protect human rights. Their campaign to support refugees is both urgent and vital,” Sting concluded.