Video footage provided by the Greek authorities appeared to show tear gas being fired from the Turkish side of the border in the Evros region as clashes between Greek police and migrants seeking to force their way across the border from Turkey resumed on Wednesday.
Greek authorities said that a Turkish riot police unit stationed about 40 meters from the frontier were using grenade launchers to fire the tear gas canisters into the buffer zone on the Greece-Turkey border.
Wednesday’s clashes came a day after European Union officials promised more cash for Greece during a visit to the country’s land border with Turkey. The officials also called upon Turkey to abide by a 2016 deal which requires it to keep the migrants on its territory in return for EU cash.
On Tuesday, the Greek government issued a legislative act that stipulates the suspension for one month of asylum applications from people that enter Greece illegally.
Accordingly, these people will not be registered and will be returned immediately to their country of origin. The act will have a retroactive effect and will include all those that entered the country since March 1.
“The suspension of the asylum process sends a very important message that our country does not consider those who enter illegally as refugees,” said Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis, who added these people are being exploited by Turkey in order to dispute Greece’s sovereign rights.