Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister of Immigration and Asylum, at ANKAA; Credit: MAEE

Wednesday marked the inauguration of the ANKAA Project refugee training centre, created by volunteers including Luxembourg's Sara Vispi, in Athens, Greece.

On this occasion, Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, travelled to Athens for a meeting with his Greek counterpart, George Katrougalos, and for the inauguration of the centre.

During a working dinner, the ministers first took stock of bilateral Greek-Luxembourg relations as well as subjects of common interest. Also on the agenda was enlargement and the Stabilisation and Association Process as well as relations with Turkey.

Prior to this meeting, Minister Asselborn attended the inauguration of the ANKAA Project refugee training centre, a non-profit association created by volunteers, including Luxembourg's Sara Vispi. The association is committed to giving a perspective to refugees, migrants and local citizens living in Athens, notably by offering vocational training and language apprenticeships. Three musicians from the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the inauguration with a musical interlude, as part of the international programme of the "Fondation Ecouter pour Mieux s'Entendre" (EME; Play for Better Hearing Foundation).

In his speech, Jean Asselborn stated: "ANKAA is open and has been running for almost a year, but it is now working at a cruising speed, welcoming 250 migrants in the last quarter. In total, 500 people have already benefited". Minister Asselborn also welcomed the fact that "ANKAA also gives special importance to the reuse of old materials and the construction of most office and training equipment. Some of the courses focus specifically on the principles of the circular economy".

During his visit, Minister Asselborn also delivered a speech at the European Parliament's Athens Office at the invitation of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).