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Greek minister's immigrant threat

Monday, March 09, 2015 - 01:17

Greeks have reacted angrily after their Defence Minister suggested allowing immigrants to leave the country for other European capitals if no solution can be found to the country's current crisis with its creditors. As Amy Pollock reports the row is an unwelcome distraction for the government at a crucial time.

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Greece is the route of choice into Europe for thousands of migrants each month. Many end up in limbo in detention centres. But Greece's Defence Minister Pannos Kammenos has threatened to move them on if no solution is found to the economic crisis. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) GREEK DEFENCE MINISTER PANOS KAMMENOS SAYING: "If they try to strike Greece, they should know that we will suspend the Dublin II treaty immediately and immigrants can take their documents and ID cards and go to Berlin. If there are some amongst those immigrants which have crossed the borders and it has not been checked whether they support ISIS, it would be Europe's responsibility." It's quite a threat to be making to one's partners. And some Greeks are worried about the reaction of their European colleagues. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) CIVIL SERVANT, PHILIPOS FARMAKIS, AGED 55, SAYING: "I believe that just as you are about to go into negotiations you should not be trying to blackmail... Diplomacy is based on serious, prepared, cooperative dialogue." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT RANIA, AGED 67, SAYING: "As if we can we actually give documents to migrants so that they can go to Berlin. Let's stop this nonsense, Greece needs to get serious because from what I see the government is going to ruin us." Kammenos does have some support. But his comments are unlikely to be welcomed by everyone in Greece's government - they've got enough on their plate already with a bailout to negotiate.

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Greek minister's immigrant threat

Monday, March 09, 2015 - 01:17