"Greece must seek substantial EU support, as these people do not come here to stay on Lesvos or Limnos islands, they are coming to move on through to the rest of Europe," SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said in comments on the unfolding Greek-Turkish border migration crisis on Mega TV station, on Tuesday evening.
According to Tsipras, "we are facing a geopolitical threat by Turkey," which he said "uses refugees as political tools and has geopolitical aspirations."
Furthermore, he added that "the government should have foreseen Turkey's blackmail, as it has been threatening [to open the borders] for a long time," and also criticized the government for not having "decongested the islands sooner."
The opposition leader noted that guarding the borders is a matter of course and that the government "was right in closing the border, but its communication ploys do not help."
He criticized Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for not summoning a council of political leaders, accused him of arrogance, and noted that in challenging situations even an elementary consultation is needed by all political forces. The former PM also said that SYRIZA had "dealt effectively with the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2017."
Commenting on Tuesday's visit to Evros by key European officials with the prime minister, Tsipras said, "Inviting European officials to Evros (...) is like identifying with Europe's tough policy core," and noted that "European leaders have so far made no statements against Turkey."
"The government should ask European partners to decide on sanctions against Turkey," Tsipras underlined.