EU President Von der Leyen announced a plan Tuesday to supply Greece with 700 million euros ($782.95 million) to maintain border security amid the refugee crisis.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened his country’s borders, allowing tens of thousands of refugees to flood into Europe, through Greece, in retaliation for what he sees as the EU’s failure to uphold its deals with Turkey and the recent death of at least 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria. Erdogan also threatened that the number of refugees amassed on the Greek border could climb into the millions, according to the Greek City Times.
The situation at our border is not only #Greece’s issue to manage.
It is the responsibility of Europe as a whole.
And we will manage it in an orderly way, with unity, solidarity and determination. pic.twitter.com/FYIwvu6y0W
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 3, 2020
Thus far, Greece has maintained border security, bolstered by EU approval for its defensive action. In a recent visit to the contested border, Leyen described the Hellenic Republic as “Europe’s shield,” according to Euro News. She has also warned those seeking to “test Europe’s unity,” reports France 24. “We will hold the line and our unity will prevail,” she declared.
“I am fully committed to mobilizing all the necessary operational support to the Greek authorities,” she told journalists, according France 24. (RELATED: Tucker Breaks Down Bernie’s ‘Radical Open Borders Policy)
The EU border agency Frontex has also moved to deploy a rapid intervention team consisting of 100 guards, as well as boats, helicopters and other vehicles. These Frontex operatives will join the 500 already stationed on the border as influxes of refugees clash violently with security forces.
— George Lee (@Harhalas) March 1, 2020
Greek Prime Minster Kyriakos Mitsotakis says his country has already prevented “over 24,000 attempts at illegal entry,” reports France 24. Despite this immense number of border crossing interceptions, Greek government spokesperson Stelios Petsas says “no shots have been fired by Greek border forces against any individuals attempting to enter Greece illegally.”