EU summit: Athens seeking assurances for open borders
Although the Greek government appears to be content with the conclusion of the Summit meeting on the refugee crisis…
Although the Greek government appears to be content with the conclusion of the Summit meeting on the refugee crisis, it has warned that it will not approve it if it does not include an explicit commitment to keeping the country’s northern borders open.
Germany has so far committed to no changes in the current status, at least until the 6th of March when an extraordinary EU-Turkey summit is expected to take place. Greek diplomatic circles have argues that this is a positive development, as it provides enough time for the EU-Turkey agreement and NATO involvement in the Aegean Sea to come in to place.
Additionally, the diplomatic sources commented that the EU-Turkey summit meeting will in essence pass on the weight of managing the refugee crisis and pressure for implementing what has been agreed to Turkey.
During his address at the meeting, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras adopted a hard stance and stressed that of the 66,000 refugees to be relocated from Greece, fewer than 250 have done so, while there is no data on how many of the 50,000 places in the western Balkan countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and FYROM) have been filled, as agreed.
PM Tsipras further argued that based on the review in November, as to whether Greece is fulfilling its obligations, Greece has received less that a quarter of the staff and equipment that is has requested to better protect the borders.