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GREEK NEWS

PM Mitsotakis and German Chancellor Merkel Discuss Turkey, Migrant Crisis on Tuesday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Berlin in 2019. Credit: AMNA

Recent tensions between Turkey and Greece, along with migrant and refugee-related issues after the fires that destroyed Moria last week, were reportedly the topics of discussion in a Tuesday phone call between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.

Throughout the months of nearly-continual tensions between Greece and Turkey over the exploitation of energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, Germany has been viewed as taking a soft approach to Turkey.

Greece’s neighbor to the east has been conducting research missions in Greek waters hoping to find oil and gas deposits that they can exploit. Turkish research vessels were accompanied by military warships as they searched the waters between Crete and Cyprus, dangerously close to Greek soil.

The nations of France and Cyprus joined Greece in condemning Turkey and advocating for quick action on the part of the European Union to help put an end to Turkey’s acts of aggression in the region.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis has repeatedly said that he is open to dialogue with Turkey if the country ceases to provoke Greece and Cyprus.

Along with these tensions in the region, the subject of refugees and migrants has also become widely discussed on a broader European scale.

Germany has become central to any dialogue between Greece and other European states in terms of creating a strategic plan to handle the current refugee crisis.

Tuesday’s telephone call comes as Germany agreed to welcome 150 of the 400 unaccompanied minors from Moria into their country.

According to international press reports, PM Mitsotakis hopes to build a strategy between EU states in handling not only the refugees and migrants who were once housed in Moria, but also those who are currently in camps on Greek islands such as Chios, Kos, and Samos.

Although some European countries, notably Germany, have offered to take in many of the refugees who were left in limbo after a series of fires destroyed Moria, Greece is hesitant to agree to any mass movement of refugees.

Reportedly, officials fear that if droves of migrants from Moria are taken in by Germany and other European countries, other refugees in camps around Greece will view setting fires as a successful tactic in getting out of Greece and into Europe — a goal of almost all of the refugees.

 

 

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