Europe and Greece need to “take back” the keys from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that allow him to threaten to “open the gates” to millions of refugees and migrants trying to reach European countries, the head of Greece’s center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) party said on Saturday.
Speaking during a visit to Samos, one of the eastern Aegean islands on the frontline of the migration crisis, KINAL chief Fofi Gennimata accused the Turkish president of “blackmail,” shortly after he threatened to flood Europe with refugees unless it agrees to his plans for a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria.
Gennimata also visited the reception and processing center on the island, which is struggling to cope with more than 5,500 refugees and migrants in facilities built for some 650 people. She described conditions as being “even worse than at Moria,” referring to the notorious camp on the island of Lesvos.
“All European countries should assume their responsibilities, Gennimata said, echoing calls from other Greek officials for EU member-states to abide by the quota system for distributing refugees fairly across the bloc.
“The issue is not Greek but European,” she added.