Greece’s defence minister Panos Kammenos has threatened to “flood Europe with migrants”, potentially including Syrian jihadists, if Europe fails to find a solution to the Greek debt crisis.
The provocative declaration comes just hours before a crucial meeting between the finance ministers of the Eurogroup, who are set to decide whether the reforms proposed by the Greek government are good enough to grant an extension on the country’s bailout programme.
Kammenos, who is a member of the Greek government’s junior coalition party Independent Greeks, has raised the stakes ahead of Monday afternoon’s meeting.
As reported by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he said that: “If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadis of the Islamic State too.”
He went on explaining that: “If they [the Eurogroup] strike us, we will strike them. We will give to migrants from everywhere the documents they need to travel in the Schengen area, so that the human wave could go straight to Berlin.”
The Schengen area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other controls at their common borders, allowing travellers to move from one country to another as if they were in a single state. Britain is not part of the Schengen area.
The declaration is set to spark some reactions in Berlin, where it has already been reported by the leading German financial publication Handesblatt.
Kammenos is not new to this type of controversies: he once called German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble a persona non grata in Athens, a label given to visitors when they are not welcome in a country.
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