15:18 GMT04 August 2020
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    Greece's defense minister threatened to “flood Europe with migrants,” including potential members of the so-called Islamic State, unless Athens receives debt crisis support.

    Panos Kammenos said Greece will unleash a “wave of millions of economic migrants” on Europe unless the eurozone backs down on austerity demands.

    If Greece is unable to convince the eurozone and International Monetary Fund to continue payments on a £172billion bailout, the country will go bust later this month, forcing it out of the European Union’s single currency.

    Greece’s border with Turkey is the EU’s frontline against illegal immigration and European measures to stop extremists travelling to and from IS bases in Iraq and Syria.

    If the eurozone allowed Greece to go bust, Greece would grant EU travel papers to illegal immigrants crossing its borders or to the 10,000 currently held in detention centers, Kammenos warned.

    "If they deal a blow to Greece, then they should know the migrants will get papers to go to Berlin,” he said.

    "If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and it will be even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the Islamic State too.”

    Kammenos said the EU’s passport-free “Schengen” travel zone left the eurozone vulnerable. The Schengen area is an area comprising 26 European countries – excluding Britain – that have abolished passport controls at their common borders, allowing travelers to move freely between countries.

    "If they strike us, we will strike them. We will give to migrants from everywhere the documents they need to travel in the Schengen area, so that the human wave could go straight to Berlin,” Kammenos said.

    Last week, Nikos Kotzias, the Greek foreign minister, told a meeting of his EU colleagues that if Greece was forced out of the euro "there will be tens of millions of immigrants and thousands of jihadists.”

    EU officials have taken the threats seriously, and have sought assurances that no measures were being taken to open detention centers.

    Greece and its creditors agreed two weeks ago to extend the bailout, but troubled negotiations with the new government have caused creditors to threaten to cut Athens off from funds by the end of March.

    Tags:
    financial crisis, bailout, Eurozone, Turkey, Greece
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