NEWS

Migration minister: Turkey should not blackmail EU if it wants more aid

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Greece’s migration minister called on Turkey to stop “blackmailing” Europe if it wants to receive more funds from the European Union to help the country manage migration.

In an interview with AFP while on a visit to Washington on Thursday, George Koumoutsakos voiced alarm over threats by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “open the gates” and allow refugees and migrants to flee to Europe if he does not receive more financial support.

When Turkey “keeps repeating that we’re going to open the floodgates, what they [migrants] do is they move closer to the floodgates waiting for them to open,” he was quoted as saying, noting that Greece has seen a 240 percent increase in arrivals since May.

At the same time, the minister said that Greece wants the EU to consider Turkey’s request for further economic assistance beyond the 6 billion euros the bloc pledged in 2016 to stop migrants.