The Czech Interior Ministry is prepared to send €1 million to Greece for the purchase of equipment to tackle the threat of another migrant crisis, as well as humanitarian aid from the fire corps’ reserves, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said.
Turkey opened its borders on Friday of last week, prompting thousands of migrants to attempt to cross the Greek-Turkish border.
“The doors are now open. Now, you will have to take your share of the burden,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when announcing that his country is letting hundreds of thousands of migrants go to Europe.
His statement rattled Czech politicians, with the Czech government indicating the situation at the Greece-Turkey border will be discussed at the next Chamber of Deputies meeting.
“We want to ask the government to consider technical and personnel assistance to countries in the region that are under migratory pressure,” said Ondřej Benešík, chairman of the Committee on European Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies. The best option, he said, is not to wait and to take steps to immediately prevent the problem.
“We want the government to consider helping these countries, especially Greece, but also other countries. The government should also consider providing help to refugee camps, for example in the Middle East, which feature large amounts of migrants and refugees,” Benešík said.
On his Facebook page, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček wrote that the situation on the Greece-Turkey border is critical and added that the Greeks are left alone to deal with the influx of migrants. He stated that the Czech Republic is ready to help the Greek people.
“For us, it is also crucial that Greece succeeds in stopping the masses of illegal migrants,” wrote Hamáček.
The Czech Republic will offer Greece immediate humanitarian aid through the fire corps´ reserves and financial support through the Ministry of the Interior funds, added Hamáček.
“If necessary, we will also send our police officers to the Greek-Turkish border, as we did a few years ago when the Balkan countries faced a crisis at their borders,” Hamaček said.
Tensions on the Turkish-Greek border escalated after Turkey announced on Thursday that it would no longer prevent migrants from going to the European Union. Thus, it ceased to comply with the 2016 agreement with Brussels in which it promised to help stop the migration wave into the Union in exchange for financial assistance from Brussels.
After tens of thousands of people tried to cross the Greek border, Greece announced it was suspending asylum applications for a month. Greek police and the army prevented about 24,000 attempts to illegally cross the border from Saturday to Monday evening and arrested 183 migrants.