It is not likely Greece will excercise its veto powers at the upcoming EU-Turkey summit over the refugee crisis, the country’s foreign minister said late Tuesday.
“It is bad (to use the veto) as a method because it encumbers negotiations,” said Nikos Kotzias in an interview on Skai TV.
“The veto helps highlight to others the importance of the issue, the red lines and the need for renegotiation,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has no intention of “doing something that would endanger the country’s relations with another country.”
Greece has been locked in a heated and at times vicious debate with fellow European Union members over a solution to the massive flow of refugees into Europe, which is threatening the bloc’s cohesion.
The special EU summit in Brussels with Turkish officials on March 7 aims to hammer out a deal to control the flow of refugees from Turkey.
Greece has borne the brunt of the refugee crisis as the main port of entry for Syrians and Afghans, and has been involved in an acrimonious blame game with fellow EU members – Austria in particular – over how to the stem the flow and how the refugees will be distributed across the bloc.
Kotzias said that Greece could handle up to 150,000 refugees.
Uncertainty also remains regarding the success of NATO patrols in the Aegean, meant to crack down on smuggling rackets from Turkey into Greece.
Kotzias said that despite an agreement being reached last week, Turkey was effectively opposed to the mission.