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Greek police use tear gas on migrants at Turkish border

Posted in World

Published on March 22, 2020 with No Comments

Clashes broke out on Greece’s border with Turkey after about 500 migrants attempted to break down a border fence and enter Greece.

Greek police said they used tear gas to repel the push south of the Kastanies border crossing. They said Turkish authorities also fired tear gas at the Greek border. The clashes began at 2 a.m. and lasted for roughly two hours. An estimated 2,000 migrants are still camped out on the Greek-Turkish border, weeks after Turkey declared its borders to Europe open and encouraged migrants and refugees living in the country to try crossing into European Union member Greece.

Tens of thousands of people headed to the frontier despite Greece’s insistence that its eastern border, which is also the EU’s external border, was shut. The move came after months of threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would allow millions of refugees into Europe unless the EU provided more support for refugee care in Turkey. The EU says it is adhering to a 2016 deal with Turkey under which it provides billions of euros in funds in return for Turkey caring for more than 3.5 million refugees from neighbouring Syria.Turkey declared that it was closing down its six land and sea border crossings with Greece and Bulgaria in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. But a senior Turkish official said that the measure did not amount to an end of Ankara’s policy of not preventing migrants from leaving Turkey. The borders were sealed to people and not the transportation of goods, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government protocol. The violence on the border came hours after Erdogan held a four-way video conference with the leaders of France, Germany and Britain to discuss the migrants crisis.

 

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