Athens on Thursday reacted to reports saying that Berlin has criticized Greece for making poor progress in processing the asylum applications of thousands of refugees stranded on its Aegean islands and foot-dragging in returning rejected asylum-seekers to Turkey.
According to the report published in the Financial Times Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her disappointment to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during a migration summit held over the weekend in Vienna.
“She was tough. She has had enough of the excuses,” according to an unnamed diplomat quoted by the newspaper.
A source in the prime minister’s office on Thursday said the remarks made by Merkel, as well as Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, in Vienna were not in agreement with the allegations contained in the FT report.
“In fact both of them focused on the need to speed up relocations and visa liberalization for Turkish citizens,” the source said.
“Sure, one can understand the purpose of leaks aimed at German public opinion, particularly after the rise of the xenophobic party Alternative for Germany (AfD),” the source said.