KASTANIES, Greece/PAZARKULE, Turkey (Reuters) – The European Union on Friday pleaded with migrants on the Turkish border to stop trying to cross into Greece but dangled the prospect of more aid for Ankara as a standoff between Greek riot police and refugees entered a second week.
Tens of thousands of migrants have been trying to get into Greece, an EU member state, since Turkey said on Feb. 28 it would no longer try to keep them on its territory as agreed in 2016 with the EU in return for billions of euros in aid.
Greek and Turkish security forces again deployed tear gas on Friday, witnesses said, sending plumes of smoke above the Kastanies-Pazarkule border crossing. Some migrants dabbed stinging eyes with water. Other trekked through fields probing for chinks in the well-guarded frontier.
“The news about the alleged openness (of the Greek-Turkish border) is false and people should not try to move there,” the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told reporters during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Croatia.