Greece is bracing itself for another influx of refugees as tensions with Turkey begin to heighten once against following a border spat earlier this year that saw Greek and Turkish authorities face off as the latter sent tens of thousands of migrants to the border encouraging them to travel to Europe.
Over the last weekend Greek police arrested six alleged people smugglers caught trying to smuggle refugees to the Aegean Islands.
Manos Logothetis, the migration ministry’s general secretary in charge of asylum seekers’ reception has said:
“We have to be prepared and have set up extra camps on all the islands that will also act as quarantine areas given the risk of Covid-19,”
“The weather is optimal for crossings and the concern now very real that Turkey may once again use these people as an instrument to exert pressure on Europe and Greece.”
Turkey’s President Erdogan has long threated to use the millions of migrants from the Middle East and beyond who have taken shelter their territory as a bargaining tool or to blackmailing the EU into greater concessions by allowing them to cross its territory in the bloc if its demands are not met.
Earlier this year Turkey began encouraging migrants to travel to the EU via Greece after the Brussels failed to express support for its invasion of Syria in support of Islamist insurgent groups it has supported in their fight against the Damascus based government of Bashar Al Assad.
The invasion was halted after intervention by Russia, but the potential remains for renewed fighting.
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