Greece Ready to Protect Border if Turkey Lets Migrants With COVID-19 Reach Islands

© REUTERS / ALKIS KONSTANTINIDISA man wearing a protective face mask walks past the parliament building in Athens, Greece
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past the parliament building in Athens, Greece - Sputnik International
ATHENS (Sputnik) - Athens is ready to protect its sovereignty and borders if Turkey decides to send migrants infected with the virus to Greece's islands, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.
"First of all, I must say that Turkey's constant threats and blackmailing of Greece and Europe with the use of migrants already failed in Evros. We are always on high alert due to the fact that it could take such attempts on the islands this time", Petsas said at a briefing.

The spokesman stated that Athens was monitoring the situation on the border and was ready to protect Greece and Europe's borders in case of a threat by Ankara.

"We are monitoring the movement on the coast. On the one hand, no one can know what condition people are in there. We see an increase in coronavirus cases in Turkey. On the other hand, we are ready and will do everything to protect our sovereign rights and protect the borders of Greece and Europe", he concluded.

Turkey has so far registered 56,956 COVID-19 cases and 1,198 fatalities across the country. A total of 3,446 people have recovered.

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Last week, media reported that Turkey was allegedly amassing migrants, many of whom were diagnosed with COVID-19, along its coast to send them to Greece's islands.

Ankara announced in late February that it would not be able to stem the flow of migrants and refugees following renewed violence in Syria's Idlib province, and therefore would open its borders with the EU to those wishing to cross. Soon after, Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria were flooded with thousands of migrants. In March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would not close its borders with the EU for migrants until the bloc fulfils its promises.

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