Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed economic issues and the emerging migration crisis at Greece’s eastern borders while addressing the German-Hellenic Economic Forum in Berlin on Monday, where he met with his German counterpart, Angela Merkel.
PM Mitsotakis stressed repeatedly and emphatically that Greece and Europe cannot be blackmailed.
Regarding the economy, Mitsotakis declared that Greece was truly on a path of growth, adding that the new problems are making it accelerate, not slow down reforms.
“The asymmetric threat from the east changes the priorities, and the health crisis makes our work more difficult. In the last ten days, we have shown that we can defend our national and European sovereignty. Greece and Europe cannot be blackmailed by anyone,” the Greek leader stated.
The support offered by the EU is tangible proof of European solidarity, added Mitsotakis.
“When we needed our friends, dear Angela (Merkel), they gave us both moral and practical support,” the Greek premier noted.
Η Ευρώπη ξέρει να ξεπερνά εμπόδια. Όπως και η χώρα μου. Δείξαμε τις τελευταίες δέκα μέρες ότι μπορούμε να υπερασπιστούμε την εθνική αλλά και την ευρωπαϊκή κυριαρχία. Η Ελλάδα και η Ευρώπη δεν εκβιάζονται από κανέναν. pic.twitter.com/r35afua4cH
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 9, 2020
“We are entering a new phase in migration. President Erdogan will be in Brussels this afternoon and I consider this development positive. I hope it is the start of a de-escalation of the crisis,” Mitsotakis said from the Berlin talks.
He pointed out that if the Turkish President wants a review of the EU-Turkey agreement on migration “which he has, himself, effectively demolished,” then he must take the following actions: Remove the desperate people from Evros and stop spreading fake news and propaganda.
The Greek PM suggested that Erdogan should also examine other possible improvements, such as joint patrols to control the flow of migrants at the Turkish border. He also pointed out that the repatriation of those who illegally enter Greece should be possible from mainland Greece, as well as the islands.
”Greece has always recognized and continues to recognize that Turkey has played a crucial role in the management of the refugee issue but this can’t be done using threats and blackmail,” he added.
The Greek Prime Minister then asked for an agreement for the voluntary relocation of children and teenage refugees from Greece to Europe, stating firmly “I call on the countries to participate in this tangible proof of solidarity.”
With information from AMNA