Don’t let countries use immigrants as leverage

Greece, Athens-The Greek Prime Minister said Europe should be “very, very strict” when dealing with countries that have said they are trying to use migrants and refugees as a means of putting pressure on the European Union. I am.

In a meeting with the head of the European Border and Coast Guard in Athens, Prime Minister Kiriacos Mitsutakis called on neighboring Turkey to make more efforts to prevent people from illegally crossing the Greek border on Friday.

Greece is one of the most popular routes to the EU for those fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, mostly by crowded smugglers from the Turkish coast to the nearby Greek islands.

Thousands of migrants and refugees in Turkey rushed to the Greek border after Turkey announced in March 2020 that it would open its borders to the EU. The chaotic scene continued on the Greek border, and Athens temporarily suspended its asylum application.

This week, a similar scene took place in the outpost of Ceuta in North Africa, Spain. After Morocco relaxed border control, more than 8,000 people swam and jumped over border fences.

“I don’t think migrants and refugees can be used as geopolitical pawns to put pressure on the entire European Union. And when this happens, we need to be very, very strict. I think, “said Mitsutakis after meeting with Frontex Chief Fabrice Leggeri.

Greece has been accused by Turkey and refugee groups of summarizing the deportation of migrants who arrived without the opportunity to apply for asylum. This is a criticism that Greece strongly denies.

Mitsutakis also urged Turkey to accept nearly 1,500 people on the Greek islands where asylum claims were rejected, “a very important first step in strengthening cooperation.”