PRAGUE – Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras told the European Union’s foreign chief Josep Borrell on the sidelines of a bloc meeting in Prague that it’s time to push back against Turkish aggression.
With elections coming in mid-2023, Tspiras – who was ousted in July, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis – has been sniping at his rival and urging a tougher stance against Turkey.
Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA said that at the meeting the SYRIZA leader said the EU should stop issuing tweets and statements about Turkey’s provocations and use sanctions instead.
He said that was warranted because of Turkey challenging Greece’s sovereignty, especially over the seas between them and also press for real diplomacy at the same time, the report also said.
Tsipras also said the EU can’t stand idly by while Turkey lets human traffickers keep sending refugees and migrants to Greece, especially the islands, with scores drowning trying to make the crossing.
Turkey has allowed that in violation of an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the EU in which the country is supposed to contain some 4.4 million people who went there fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands.
They wanted to get to more prosperous countries in the EU before the bloc closed its borders to them, leaving most to try to get to Greece to seek asylum, as well as Italy, Spain and Malta.