ATHENS -- Greece's Coast Guard officers operate in accordance with the rules of international law, bravely and resolutely defending the sea borders of Greece, which are also the borders of the European Union, Shipping and Islands Policy Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis stated on Wednesday. The minister was speaking at a press conference about the new bill on island policy and had been asked whether the Greek Coast Guard engages in pushback practices.
"Ιt is really surprising when some attempt to play Turkey's game, which... is exploiting desperate people - especially over the recent period, when Turkish patrol boat are escorting migrant boats to the borderline, in an attempt to take Greece, Europe and the international community by surprise," said Plakiotakis.
"The Greek Coast Guard always operates in accordance with international law and on Tuesday, in Mytilene, I had the opportunity to praise the contribution of the Coast Guard for their determination in protecting the country's sea borders," he said.
Additionally, Plakiotakis underlined that "at a time when Turkey is literally using human lives, Greece is teaching lessons in legality, protection of human life and is protecting the sea borders of the country and the EU."