Greece should ‘respect international law amid border crisis’, says EU

Greece should ‘respect international law amid border crisis’, says EU

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Athens must respect international law amid the migrant crisis at its border with Greece, a senior EU figure has said. Margaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission, was speaking as migrants mass at the Greek-Turkey border. Thousands have headed for the European Union after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he could no longer stop refugees leaving Turkey. But there have been reports of violence at the Greek-Turkish border. On Wednesday, Turkey claimed a migrant was killed by gunfire while crossing into Greece. Greek officials strongly denied the accusation. “Everything that is done at our external borders must be done in accordance with the law,” said Greek politician Schinas. He said he was “confident” that Athens could “even in these exceptional circumstances make their management of the situation compatible with the law”.

Schinas also said Europe cannot fail twice on managing asylum and its borders, referring to the crisis in 2015 when around one million migrants made it to the EU. “I dare say that this will be our last chance. Europe cannot fail twice on such an emblematic objective,” he said, also calling for sufficient resources to be allocated to border controls in the next long-term EU budget, currently under discussion.  Meanwhile, Greek government deny Turkish accussations that migrant was shot crossing border

 Migrants scuffle with Greek police at the port of Mytilene after locals block access to the Moria refugee camp, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece.

A migrant trying to reach Europe was killed by gunfire while crossing the border into Greece, Turkish authorities said on Wednesday — but Greek officials denied the claim.

The governor’s office of Edirne, on the Turkish side of the border, six migrants were injured by “live ammunition” from Greek police, who had used both plastic bullets and real bullets, and that one of the six had died in hospital. The Greek government issued an immediate denial in a statement from spokesman Stelios Petsas. “The Turkish side creates and disperses fake news targeted against Greece. Today they created yet another such falsehood, with injured people supposedly by Greek fire. I categorically deny it. “Fake news keeps spreading, and while they were talking about injuries before, now they are talking about one dead.

“I confirm once more my previous denial: there is no such incident with fire from the Greek authorities,” the statement read. If confirmed, it would be the second death in the space of a week since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would no longer prevent refugees trying to reach Europe, apparently in a bid to pressurise the EU into backing his military intervention in Syria. The Erdine governors office said the male migrant, whose identity has not been identified for the moment, was taken to Trakya University Medical Faculty Hospital after an initial intervention at the scene and despite his interventions, he could not be saved and died.”

At an AKP party meeting on Wednesday in Ankara, Erdogan call out to “Greece and all European Union countries to act in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and respect the rights of the refugees who seek refuge in their countries. The European Union has provided 350 +350 million Euros immediately, and additionally has said EU is ready to provide boat, ammunition, guns and food aid. But for ten years now we have been hosting 4 million Syrians as Turkey, have you ever offer us such support?” the Turkish leader went on to ask.(Euronews modified)