Last week, Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said that if Athens failed to secure its borders, also serving as the external borders of the European Union, there should be a discussion of temporarily excluding the country from the Schengen zone.
"I am recommending to the Austrian Interior Ministry to weigh her words when she is addressing the issue of refugees and Greece’s alleged responsibility in this. Austrian minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner should think more about the European spirit and vision rather than the political equilibrium in Vienna," Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Kutras said in a statement.
Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, using the county as an entry-point to the bloc from where they travel to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum.
Germany and Austria are among the refugees’ most popular destinations. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.55 million illegal border crossings in 2015.