There was an escalation in the diplomatic tension over the refugee crisis on Thursday as Athens withdrew its ambassador from Vienna in retaliation for Austria limiting the number of refugees it accepts and hosting a summit with nine other European countries that did not include Greece.
Managing the growing refugee crisis domestically is becoming an even greater challenge for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Greece revealed on Tuesday that it has delivered a demarche to Vienna to complain about Vienna’s attempts to coordinate its actions on the refugee crisis with countries from the so-called “Balkan corridor.”
Alexis Tsipras faces a crucial few days ahead in his bid to convince Greece’s partners in the European Union that it is doing enough to tackle the refugee crisis and acting on the recommendations in a recent warning from the European Commission.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has become the first European leader to visit Iran since the lifting of trade sanctions against Tehran, underlining Athens’s determination to become a link between the Middle East country and the EU.
Recent developments in Greece point to the European Union viewing its efforts regarding the refugee crisis in a more positive light but the pressure is still on Athens to deliver.
A trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Israel in Nicosia last week marks the beginning of formal cooperation between the three countries.
United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide made the first official visit of 2016 to the Greek Foreign Ministry last week for talks with Nikos Kotzias, perhaps indicating that the Cyprus issue will be one of Athens’s priorities in the months to come.
The President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas begins an official two-day visit to Athens on Monday.
A visit by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki to Athens on Thursday is the first of its kind for many years and raises hopes that Greece and its neighbour are on the path towards settling their name dispute.