NEWS

Tsipras reacts to Tusk statement on closure of Balkan route for migrants

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacted negatively to comments made by European Council President Donald Tusk late Wednesday, after western Balkan countries closed their borders to refugees and migrants at midnight.

“The Western Balkans route has come to an end due to unilateral actions by certain countries. EU has no future if it goes on like that,” Tsipras tweeted.

“We expect D. Tusk, president of EU28 to focus efforts on implementing our common decisions and not encourage those who ignore them,” the Greek premier added.

Earlier, Tusk wrote on Twitter that “Irregular flows of migrants along Western Balkans route have come to an end”.

“Not a question of unilateral actions but common EU28 decision… I thank Western Balkan ountries for implementing part of EUs comprehensive strategy to deal with migration crisis,” Tusk added.

Meanwhile, reports pointed to about 12,000 refugees being stranded at the Greece-Former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) border. FYROM has refused entry to refugees since Monday.

Greek authorities said on Thursday that there are now almost 42,000 refugees and migrants in Greece after almost 2,500 new arrivals on Wednesday.

Speaking on German public radio on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that closing the route to refugees would not solve the problem. The EU has to reach a deal with Turkey as Greece would be unable to bear the weight “for long” Merkel added.