President Trump supports the “right of Greece to enforce the law on its borders.”
As thousands of illegal migrants force their way into Greece along its border with Turkey, a senior Greek minister has described the worsening situation as an invasion.
“This is an invasion,” Greek Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said on national television.
The hoards of migrants are heading into Greece by both land and sea. While 10,000 thousand migrants were amassed at the land border with Turkey and fought, pitched, and battled with the Greek border police, more than 1,000 migrants landed on Greece’s Aegean Islands since Sunday, Greek authorities said.
Athens blamed Turkey for mobilizing the latest migrant wave.
“Greece accuses Turkey of orchestrating a coordinated effort to drive migrants across the frontier,” Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday. “One Greek policeman accused Turkish soldiers at the Kastanies border gate of “giving cutters” to migrants to cut holes in the fence to get through. Reuters could not verify the report,” the news outlet added.
The migrant influx began after Turkey opened its border, encouraging migrants — mostly men from the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan — to cross into Europe, even providing free bus rides to the border crossings.
In the face of this massive migrant wave, the Greek government remains defiant.
“We will not be blackmailed and no one will cross the border illegally,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told locals as he toured the eastern border.
Greece police fired tear gas to contain the marauding migrants, comprising mostly young men. In one instance, the coast guard fired could be seen firing warning shots towards a migrant boat to deter it from breaching Greek waters.
The Associated Press reported the migrant crisis escalating on the Greece border on Tuesday:
Thousands of migrants searched for ways to cross Greece’s border with Turkey Tuesday, as Athens ramped up its diplomatic efforts to get help from the European Union to seal off its eastern land and sea frontiers.
Turkey has made good on a threat to open its borders for those seeking to cross illegally into Europe. Many of those hoping to enter Greece were trying their luck by wading or rowing across the Evros River that runs along most of the length of the Turkish frontier.
The action by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan triggered days of violent clashes and scenes of chaos at the border. Greece has struggled to push back the wave of migrants, with its armed forces now leading the effort.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis toured the troubled border area where he was to later receive top EU leaders including the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen later Tuesday.
“We will not be blackmailed and no one will cross the border illegally,” Mitsotakis said after being greeted by residents in border areas who clapped and chanted his first name.
The government has accused Turkey of causing a risk to is national security and has imposed emergency measures to carry our summary deportations and deny migrants the right to apply for international protection for one month.
The Greek army and navy held live fire exercises across the eastern border areas for a second day Tuesday to reinforce its message of deterrence. Frontex, the EU border protection agency, said it was finalizing plans to send additional resources to Greece, while several individual EU members. including Austria, have also offered additional support.
The left-wing media and leftist trolls slammed Greece border police and coastguards on social media for enforcing tight borders control.
“Greek coastguards had been filmed pushing away a dinghy with poles and opening fire into water in an effort to block migrants from entering the country,” the left-wing British newspaper Guardian complained.
Diplomatic support came from the United States, with President Donald Trump recognizing the “right of Greece to enforce the law on its borders,” in a phone conversation with Mitsotakis.
Predictably, the left-wing activist groups attacked Athens for doing just that.
“The reckless measures being taken by the Greek authorities are a blatant breach of E.U. and international law that will put lives at risk,” Amnesty International complained. “Greece continue[s] to reinforce its borders, rushing elite forces, more soldiers and extra guards, to its eastern Aegean islands and the land frontier it shares with Turkey,” the UK newspaper reported as if this was an illegal or an immoral act.
Despite the commendable effort by the Greek security forces, there are signs that they may not be able to withstand the relentless migrant wave for long. Athens has called for reinforcements, urging the European Union to dispatch the “rapid border intervention force” to protect the country’s borders.
“The borders of Greece are the external borders of Europe,” Mitsotakis reminded Brussels. No EU reinforcements have yet reached Greece, media reports indicate.
Astonishingly, the EU can’t get its act together. It has made countless promises not to allow the repeat of the 2015 Migrant Crisis when millions of illegal immigrants crossed into Europe, leading to a surge in migrant crime and a series of deadly Islamic terror attacks. No lesser figure than German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her word that “2015 will not repeat itself.”
With another migrant crisis of the same magnitude unfolding before our eyes, the European political class is losing the last shred of credibility that it may have had.
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