ATHENS — "Kurz and Mitsotakis: Common message against illegal migration," is the title of an article on the website of the Austrian public broadcaster (ORF), which states that "the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz reiterated their determination to combat illegal migration."
"Greece as a country at the EU's external borders and Austria as a destination country will continue their work to achieve a common and effective European policy on these issues," Mitsotakis said in a joint statement, according to the article.
The aim is to send a clear signal of a restrictive migration policy to all potential illegal migrants, to destroy the business model of traffickers and stop the drowning of refugees in the Mediterranean, Kurz stressed.
The article also reported that "the Austrian Chancellor again warned against putting up with blackmail from Turkey," noting that it had repeatedly threatened to open the borders wide for refugees heading to Central Europe.
"The reason for the announcement by the two heads of government was the fact that, five years ago, Europe was heading towards a culmination of the refugee crisis," he added.
At the same time, it was pointed out that "Kurz was also on the side of Athens in the Greek-Turkish dispute over the exploration rights for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and, as he stated, Turkish ambitions were a clear violation of international law and the European Union must take a clear position in favour of Greece."
In an interview to the newspaper Kurier last Friday, the Austrian Chancellor had denounced as "absolutely unacceptable" the use of migrants by Turkey as a weapon against Europe and its violation of international law by drilling in Greek territory.
At the same time, he warned that "if we accept everything, if we are not in solidarity with Greece, then this will allow someone like Erdogan to continue, and constantly exceed the limits, and such a thing is dangerous in the medium term."
Regarding future refugee flows, the Austrian Chancellor noted that "the Greek prime minister is doing an excellent job, the Greeks are protecting the European Union's external borders and our own borders, and Austria has Cobra police and officers for the support for Greece."
"But on the other hand, there is Turkish President Erdogan, who uses refug