The instrumentalisation of migrants as a means of exerting political pressure was a “hybrid threat for Europe”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in the French newspaper “Le Figaro”.
In an article published late on Sunday, the Greek prime minister referred to the situation on the Belarus border, where “thousands of migrants are daily trying to enter the EU via Belarus,” and added that its President, Alexander Lukashenko, had “drawn inspiration from a strategy that has already been tested and which caused chaos and misery on Europe’s borders.”
Mitsotakis also said that the President of Belarus was using human suffering to force Europe to abandon plans to impose new sanctions on his regime.
“We cannot accept the imposition of this strategy, either now or in the future,” he stressed.
The prime minister addressed the EU and warned that the instrumentalisation of migrants will be used again and again, to the detriment of Europe, as long as EU countries do not take the necessary measures to address two key weaknesses: the lack of a fair, coherent, effective and stable European policy and the lack of effective action to combat the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings under the guidance of either criminals or third-country governments.
PM Mitsotakis briefed by Irish counterpart, EUCO President Michel ahead of UK visit
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in contacts with Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin and European Council President Charles Michel ahead of the Greek premier’s departure for the United Kingdom on Monday, discussed the latest developments in talks between the European Commission and the UK on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, following a meeting the two sides last Friday.
The discussion was held to brief and coordinate with Mitsotakis before his meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on Tuesday.
Mitsotakis said that Greece fully aligns with the EU position on the issues concerning the talks and stands in complete solidarity with Ireland and its partners, government sources said. According to the same sources, the message that Mitsotakis will likely convey as the first EU leader to visit the UK at a crucial time for Euro-British relations, which must be ensured on the basis of the relevant agreements, is precisely that the unity of the EU is not in question, while emphasising the need to overcome the difficulties and find a solution through consensus.
Mitsotakis departs for London in the afternoon for a two-day visit to the UK. His meeting with Johnson is scheduled at 15:15 [local time] on Tuesday, while at 18:00 he will visit the Science Museum in London and tour the exhibition “Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom”.
At 7:35 on Tuesday (local time), the Greek premier will be interviewed by the ITV breakfast television show “Good Morning Britain”, while on Wednesday he will have a series of meetings with representatives of the British business community and investors.