WASHINGTON: Greece’s migration minister stated that Turkey must cease “blackmail” if it desires extra EU help, saying its loaded language had prompted a spike in motion towards Greek shores.
Chatting with AFP on a go to to Washington, Giorgos Koumoutsakos voiced alarm over threats by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and different Turkish officers to “open the gates” to Europe if it doesn’t present extra help.
When Turkey “retains repeating that we will open the floodgates, what they (migrants) do is that they transfer nearer to the floodgates ready for them to open,” stated Koumoutsakos, citing a 240 per cent improve in migrant arrivals on Greek shores since Might.
Koumoutsakos stated that Greece nonetheless needed the European Union to “positively think about” Turkey’s request for help past the six billion euros (US$6.6 billion) dedicated in 2016 to cease migrants.
“However the truth that Turkey requested for this cash by blackmail or threats doesn’t create the mandatory political local weather for the Europeans to resolve to offer the cash,” he stated.
“Europe can’t act below threats or blackmail. As Europeans ought to perceive the state of affairs that the Turks are confronted with, Ankara ought to on its half understand that this isn’t the way in which to take care of Europe,” he stated.
Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who took energy in July elections, has pledged a more durable strategy on migration than the earlier leftist authorities, which allowed refugees from Syria and different troubled international locations to land.
Greece on Wednesday stated it could overhaul its overcrowded camps on its islands going through Turkey, with asylum-seekers now to be locked up till they’re both granted refugee standing or rejected and despatched again to Turkey.
Some three.6 million Syrian refugees reside in Turkey after a brutal civil warfare engulfed their nation, and Greece is the important thing transit level into the European Union.
Greece’s tightening controls have been criticized by human rights teams as inhumane.
Koumoutsakos defended the steps, saying that atypical Greeks on islands had migration fatigue and that, in distinction with the earlier authorities of Alexis Tsipras, “we’re wanting not solely on the humanitarian facet, however the safety facet.”
Koumoutsakos stated he mentioned Greece’s stance with US lawmakers in addition to Chad Wolf, the appearing secretary of homeland safety.
Immigration is a signature concern for President Donald Trump, who has vowed to construct a wall on the Mexican border and whose administration has tried to discourage the arrival of migrants from violence-ravaged Central America by separating mother and father from their youngsters.
Koumoutsakos stated that Greece was searching for “enhanced cooperation” with the US, together with on border management, however that the 2 international locations’ conditions have been dissimilar.
Turkey – angered by criticism of its assault on Kurdish fighters in Syria – has additionally threatened to ship fighters from the Islamic State group captured in Syria again to their European international locations of origin even when their governments don’t want them.
Inside Minister Suleyman Soylu has stated that Turkey can’t be “a lodge” for the extremists.