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Greek PM Warns Erdogan Against 'Threatening' Europe With Refugee Influx

The move comes after Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this week that his country would be forced to allow refugees to leave for Europe if Ankara receives no additional international support for its efforts to deal with Syrian migrants.

Turkey should not put pressure on either Greece or Europe while trying to get support for its plan to resettle refugees arriving from northern Syria, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday, as quoted by Reuters.

"Mr Erdogan must understand that he cannot threaten Greece and Europe in an attempt to secure more resources to handle the refugee (issue)," Mitsotakis told a news conference in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. 

Erdogan said on Thursday that his country would 'open the gates' for migrants into Europe if Ankara does not receive support for its plan to resettle one million refugees in northern Syria. Earlier this year, Turkey said it had spent $35 billion on hosting about four million Syrian refugees under its current deal with the European Union. 

In 2016, Turkey and the EU reached a deal aimed at curbing irregular migration across the Aegean Sea by improving the conditions for the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently staying in Turkey. The EU promised to allocate $6.6 billion for the deal but, according to Ankara, only $2.45 billion had been received as of June 2019. 

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