Balkan states snub Greece in mi­gra­tion dis­cus­sion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece has been left out of an un­fold­ing cam­paign by Balkan coun­tries to forge a co­or­di­nated re­sponse to a tor­rent of mi­grants and asy­lum seek­ers flee­ing war and poverty in the Mid­dle East and Africa, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

Dur­ing a visit to the For­mer Yu­goslav Re­pub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FYROM), Aus­trian For­eign Min­is­ter Se­bas­tian Kurz called for “co­or­di­nated ac­tion across Europe” while urg­ing Greece to con­trol its borders more ef­fec­tively. “It’s also the fault of Greece if there is no sup­port for the refugees there,” he said.

Also speak­ing from Skopje, Bul­gar­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Daniel Mi­tov pledged his coun­try’s sup­port for FYROM in deal­ing with mount­ing pres­sure while call­ing for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the states of the re­gion – but he did not name Greece.

Thinly dis­guised crit­i­cism of Athens came from FYROM For­eign Min­is­ter Mitko Cavkov, too, who noted it was “ab­surd that the prob­lem is caused by an EU mem­ber-state.” Cavkov said that in­te­rior min­is­ters from FYROM, Aus­tria, Hungary and Ser­bia will soon meet in Skopje to de­cide fur­ther ac­tion.

In an in­ter­view with Ger­man news­pa­per Han­dels­blatt, Ser­bian Prime Min­is­ter Alek­san­dar Vu­cic said Greek author­i­ties “are un­will­ing to record asy­lum seek­ers be­cause in that way Greece goes down as their EU en­try point.”

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