Greece conducted military exercises with live ammunition along the Turkish border as waves of migrants try to cross the border after President Erdogan’s decision to “open the gates” for migrants to cross into Europe.
On the eve of a visit by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the fourth army corps of Greece announced that it would conduct military exercises using machine guns, rifles and pistols at border posts on the land border with Turkey. During the exercise, the army imposed a 24-hour ban on the movement of people, vehicles and livestock in the area.
The leader of the European Commission declared “European solidarity with Greece “in connection with the migration crisis, stating that” Greek problems are our own problems, Greek borders are European borders.
“The situation on our borders is not an issue that Greece has to solve on its own, it’s Europe’s responsibility and we will solve this problem with order, unity, solidarity and determination”, – von der Leyen said.
The Greek leader noted that mass migration from Turkey is an “asymmetrical threat,” which means that not all EU member states face the negative consequences of the crisis.
“The EU has failed to cope with the migration crisis. I hope that this crisis will serve as an alarm signal for all”, – said Mitsotakis.
Von der Leyen’s speech about “solidarity” is reminiscent of the consequences of German Chancellor Angela Merkel opening Europe’s borders in August 2015 during the first migration crisis, while the German prime minister demanded that all other EU member states take their “fair share” to reduce the burden on Greece and Italy. However, the quotas on migrants supported by Brussels sparked a populist reaction across the EU, particularly in Hungary, where 95% of Hungarians voted against the block redistribution scheme.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis said that the migrants who have been trying to move to Greece illegally over the past few days are not refugees coming from the war-torn Syrian province of Idlib, but people who have been living in Turkey for years.
Serbian President announces date of parliamentary elections
“Unfortunately, Turkey has turned into an official migrant trader”, – said Mitsotakis.