Minister vows to protect country from migration flows, not be blackmailed by Turkey


Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday said that Greece will bolster the country's defenses against a new wave of undocumented migration from Turkey, saying that Greece cannot be held hostage to its eastern neighbor.

Greece will not permit Turkey to turn the migration problem into a bilateral issue, nor to blackmail the country through the use of migration flows, Dendias told Skai radio. 

"Greece is making an effort to explain to Turkey that certain obligations apply, and the government is also making an effort on the domestic front to organize a system of managing the migration flows that will bolster the country and its borders," he said. 

The rate of arrivals at the current time are in excess of what the existing system can stand and therefore that system must be quickly developed, he said.

He added that Greece understands Turkey's problems – including the fact that it is hosting some 4 million refugees – and can be a serious interlocutor for its neighbor. "Turkey must realize this and accept this," he said, conceding however that, "it is not always easy to communicate with the Turkish side, even on matters where what is legal, correct and moral is obvious."