Turkey Opens the Migrant Floodgates, Greece Fire Teargas
Turkey Opens the Border With Greece
In another test of alleged EU's freedom of movement policy, Turkey opened its border with Greece.
Greece Responds With Teargas and Denials
Greek police have clashed with migrants on the Turkish border where as many as 4,000 people attempted to cross into the EU. On Friday, Ankara said it would no longer stop migrants from crossing into Greece.
Migrants and Greek police clashed along the Turkish-Greek border on Saturday, as Greek authorities claim they blocked 4,000 refugees from "illegally" entering the EU.
Police fired tear gas at migrants who amassed at a border crossing in the Turkish state of Edirne. There were also reports of stones being hurled by refugees at the officers.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that around 18,000 migrants had crossed Turkey's border into Europe. The president did not provide evidence for the number, but said it would rise.
Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias called for a special meeting with his EU counterparts after Turkey opened border crossings for migrants, according to Greek state broadcaster ERT.
The possibility of a new wave of migrants has spurred other European countries to prepare. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hinted that borders could be closed across the Balkans in response to Turkey's threat.
However, Bulgaria denied that there were any problems at its border following a boost to security on Friday. "There is zero migration at our border with Turkey," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said.
In the midst of a coronavirus outbreak in Italy where over 50,000 people in 11 cities are locked in, this move by Erdogan will put a huge strain on the EU.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock