German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday told Athens that Berlin would support it in dealing with the “burden of the influx” of thousands of migrants landing on Greek shores every day.
“At a moment when Greece is trying to recover economically, this influx is an extraordinary burden,” Steinmeier told the Greek daily Ta Nea, while on a visit to Athens.
“We will support Greece as it faces up to this big challenge,” he said.
Europe, he said, “must demonstrate more courage in order to grow stronger”.
“We must act together to take control of the situation, to safeguard Europes external borders, to develop a common approach to asylum and immigration and to fairly share out the refugees,” he said.
Since the start of the year, 560,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece by sea, out of over 700,000 who have reached Europe via the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
More than 3,200 people have died, many of them children, during these crossings.
Later on Thursday, Steinmeier was to hold talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias to discuss the implementation of reforms and austerity measures demanded by the creditors in exchange for a third bailout in July.