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Mitsotakis-Bloomberg
Φωτο: Γραφείο Πρωθυπουργού

Mitsotakis: Turkey accusing Greece is preposterous

Mitsotakis explained that Greece has rescued tens of thousand of people who were at risk at sea, defending its borders as it has an obligation to do but also respecting fundamental human rights.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, said that he would have a chance respond to the statements made Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the United Nations when he also addresses the UN General Assembly on Friday.

He underlined, however, that "accusing Greece of crimes against humanity on the question of migration is simply preposterous," adding that it is Turkey that has been "weaponising migrants, very openly and very publicly" for the last two years, pushing them toward the borders of Greece and Europe.

Mitsotakis explained that Greece has rescued tens of thousand of people who were at risk at sea, defending its borders as it has an obligation to do but also respecting fundamental human rights. Regarding the country's fiscal position, the prime minister stated that Greece was now in a much better position than it was, that the government had delivered on its promises and reduced taxes without jeopardising fiscal sustainability.

It is clear that there is an organised plan on the part of Turkey to instrumentalise migrants, Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said on Thursday in an interview with Skai TV. Theodorikakos revealed that "only yesterday, 1,500 undocumented migrants tried to cross our borders. However, they discovered a very strong presence of preventive measures mounted by the Greek Police."

Theodorikakos also underlined that the police forces are on operational alert and Evros is impassable. "The Greek Police are in full readiness, on alert and implementing the operational plan "Akritas", in absolute coordination with the Armed Forces and of course with the citizens of Evros. We are effectively dealing with the Turks' ongoing attempt to instrumentalise migrants," he stressed and added:

"In most cases, they are brought to our border by Turkish vehicles. For the time being this threat, and this plan, has not taken the dimensions of February and March 2020, but we are closely monitoring the situation to prevent the slightest occurrence." Concluding the minister called on the main opposition, especially in these moments, to show seriousness and responsibility.

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Mitsotakis also stressed that Greece is also mobilizing its diplomacy, notifying friendly nations and alerting allies and partners. "We are not alone in this effort. The immediate response of the European Union to our request to convene the Foreign Affairs Council confirms that this is not purely an issue of Greek-Turkish relations. It concerns the relations of all of Europe with Turkey," he said.