Greece deploys warships to Lesbos fearing migrant ‘invasion’ as Erdogan claims millions will flood into Europe
Almaty. March 3. KazTAG - Greece has deployed warships to beef up its borders over fears it could be flooded by millions of refugees after Turkey opened its borders last week.
Around 75,000 migrants have now gathered on the crossing between Turkey and Greece as locals become more frustrated by the huge number of desperate people trying to make their way into the country.
The government has now sent gunships to its eastern Aegean islands to reinforce its land border as well as British vessels also stepping up their operations in the region since the latest crisis began.
Greek government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, described the country as facing an 'asymmetric threat' to its security and announced that Athens had decided to boost border defences to the 'maximum level possible.'
This included surrounding the Aegean islands with 52 naval vessels and coast guard ships.
It comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Europe it will have to take the 'burden of millions' of migrants after opening up its borders following the Syria conflict.
Today Greek police fired tear gas at huge crowds as migrants desperately tried to swim across the river that separates the two countries or push through fences, with those successful being taken to the notorious Moria camp.
On Lesbos, the Aegean island through which 800,000 men, women and children passed in 2015 during the refugee crisis, the situation is especially explosive.
Locals, tired of seeing their islands used as a dumping ground for migrants and enraged at the prospect of more coming, have hit back setting up roadblocks to prevent new arrivals being taken to camps whilst lashing out at aid volunteers.
The Islands mayor, Stratis Kytelis, said today: "We don't want them here. They have to go, people here are on the verge of revolt."
A Brtish doctor among the aid workers is also thought to have been violently attacked by those living on the island and said they were lucky to get away with their lives after being targetted by club-wielding vigilantes Sunday.
The UN refugee agency has said that around 1,200 migrants have made their way to the islands in the last two days with a child tragically being killed when a small Dinghy capsized whilst trying to make its way to the shore.
Idyllic beaches in Lesvos are again littered with the remains of rubber dinghies and inner tubes used by migrants to get to the island from Turkey.
Photo source: picture from an open source