Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday threatened not to cooperate with future EU agreements on the migrant crisis if the burden was not fairly shared among member states, as he vowed not to let his country become a human “warehouse”.
The warning comes as Athens is seething over a series of border restrictions along the migrant trail to northern and western Europe that has caused a bottleneck in Greece, notably leaving thousands of Afghans stranded on its soil after Macedonia denied them entry.
“Greece will no longer agree to any deal if the burdens and responsibilities are not shared proportionally,” Tsipras told parliament.
Anger has been building in Greece, the main entry point for many of the roughly one million people that have arrived in Europe since last year, after Vienna last week introduced a daily cap on asylum applications and some Balkan countries tightened entry conditions.
Tsipras said he would meet with Greek party leaders to agree a joint stance on tackling the crisis ahead of March 7 summit in Brussels.
“We need a larger political consensus on this issue,” he said. “We will not allow our country to turn into a warehouse of souls.”
He added that it was “shameful” that some countries were refusing to implement joint decisions made at the EU level and were instead acting unilaterally to stem the influx of migrants.
Tsipras on Tuesday already expressed his “displeasure” to the EU after Greece was excluded from a meeting organised by Austria to discuss the crisis with ministers from Balkan states on Wednesday.