European Council President Donald Tusk on Friday met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and announced a "possible change in the EU's policy towards migrants", APA reports quoting Xinhua. "We will not push back people in the sea, risking the lives of children". It is all for nothing.
Turkey, Greece, and other Balkan nations are dealing with an overload of migrants from the Middle East and northern Africa who want to pass through on their way west, to Germany and other wealthier nations.
Europe will set Greece a deadline of May 12 to register all migrants in an orderly fashion or face more border controls, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a German newspaper on Friday.
"We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses" unless the country was offered financial assistance to help it deal with the asylum seekers, he had said, according to a leaked audio recording of the meeting.
"Greece will demand that all countries respect the European treaty and that there will be sanctions for those that do not", he said.
Tusk was heading to Ankara for talks later Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who he will press for more "intensive" help in reducing the flow of migrants landing on Greek beaches.
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But he insisted that the solution can only be temporary and Greece will accept only its fair share of permanently resettled refugees. Macedonian police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of migrants who stormed the border from Greece on Monday (February 29).
On Thursday, a group of migrants blocked a railway line on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia to protest at the restrictions. One man fainted after he was turned back.
Nikola Poposki told the Associated Press in an interview 3 March that this would provide stranded migrants with "humane and safe treatment", instead of having them in tents close to the border.
Tusk on Wednesday defended the use of barbed-wire fences against migrants, saying that securing the Schengen area's outer borders was a "pre-condition" to solving the refugee crisis.
Tusk spoke after talks with Tsipras. The EU is struggling to implement an agreement with Turkey that could reduce the flow.
Tsipras, for his part, asked that "unilateral actions stop in Europe". "This ultimately means that the high numbers [of arrivals] we are still witnessing have to go down and quickly".