(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

European Council should convene over events at Greek border, opposition parties say

Greece must immediately demand a meeting of the European Council to discuss the activation of measures to protect the Greek border in Evros

Greece must immediately demand a meeting of the European Council to discuss the activation of measures to protect the Greek border in Evros, opposition parties said in the wake of events on the Greek border on Sunday and Saturday.

"Our country, with the Turkish actions on the border, is facing an immediate threat to its security. The government has a duty to ensure the protection of the borders, which are also the borders of the European Union," said Movement for Change (KINAL) party leader Fofi Gennimata in a statement on Sunday. "It is a time for decisive action; to block (veto) critical decisions, if necessary. The convening of the Political Leaders' Council to decide a national line is now more necessary than ever," she added.

Noting that Turkey's actions are a unilateral abolition of the EU-Turkey Statement on migration, Gennimata went on to urge Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to send a letter requesting a meeting of the European Council "in order to activate the solidarity clause of article 22 of the Treaty that is foreseen in cases of human-caused disaster. For immediate measures to be taken to reinforce Frontex with equipment and personnel so that it can play a substantial role in guarding the borders."

A similar call to Mitsotakis to demand a meeting of the European Council was made by main opposition SYRIZA on Saturday, after a SYRIZA delegation visited the Kastanies region on the Evros border, while the party also urged the government to immediately draw up a national operational plan to deal with the refugee/migration crisis.

SYRIZA MP Natasha Gara, who took part in a meeting chaired by Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, expressed her support for the forces operating on the front line in very difficult conditions and urged the government to "internationalise the problem and demand immediate EU intervention," convincing the EU to guarantee the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement or come up with a contingency plan if this disintegrated.

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