Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be accompanied by top European Union officials when he visits the Evros border region on Tuesday as Athens hopes to receive more than just symbolic support in addressing the increased influx of asylum seekers from Turkey.
The Greek government is hoping that it will be able to rely on European support in the coming days after tense weekend on the country’s border with Turkey and on the Aegean islands.
The government scrambled to prepare on Friday for a potential sharp influx of refugees arriving in Greece over the next few days after Turkey intimated that it would provide free passage to Syrians seeking to reach the European Union.
The government finds itself having to tackle two crises: The angry reaction on Aegean islands to the attempt to build closed reception centres for migrants and the arrival of the coronavirus in Greece.
The government went on a charm offensive on Tuesday, deploying a wide range of arguments to re-build local communities’ trust and support its plan for the establishment of closed migrant reception centres on the eastern Aegean islands.
Key sectors of the Greek economy are expected to suffer the effects of reduced travel and trade due to the spread of the coronavirus.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has challenged Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to take him to a special court in connection to the handling of the Novartis case when the left-wing party was in power.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is travelling to Brussels on Thursday to participate in a special summit of European leaders aimed at reaching agreement on the EU’s seven-year budget for period 2021-2027.
The Novartis affair has resurfaced to disrupt the relative calm in Greek party politics, with New Democracy accusing SYRIZA of trying to cover up its attempts to tarnish its political opponents with made-up corruption claims and the opposition claiming that the government is trying to pervert the course of justice.
After another testy meeting of SYRIZA officials over the weekend which gave fodder to political rivals inside and out of the party, leader Alexis Tsipras has taken the opportunity to deliver a more constructive message by addressing the party’s new members.