Much like when Greece said “no” to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s demand the country surrender in 1940, the typically socialist Greek nation has seemingly once again said no. This time Greek officials and military are telling migrants who want to use the country as a bridge to free resource-providing countries, like Germany and France, that the floodgates aren’t as as they have been over the last decade or so.
According to Reuters, almost 1,000 migrants were prevented from crossing into Greece from Turkey in one 24-hour period between Monday at 6 a.m. and Tuesday at 6 a.m.
President Tayyip Erdogan, whose decision on Feb. 28 to open Turkey’s border to migrants wishing to leave triggered the crisis at the border, repeated on Tuesday his call for EU member state Greece to let the people through.
In a briefing to reporters on the border, Greek officials said 963 people had been prevented from illegally crossing into Greece between 6 a.m. on Monday and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, with 52 of them arrested.
The arrested included migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Iran, the officials said.
Since Erdogan decided to open his countries borders to flood Europe with migrants, Greece has reportedly turned away around 42,000 people from illegally entering their country.
The barrage of migrants to the Greek border has been so heavy that even European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden and European Council President Charles Michel “told Erdogan on Monday he needed to pull the migrants back from the border before the EU would consider further support for Turkey.”
On a side note, a Greek military band began playing the Greek national anthem, whose title roughly translates to the “Hymn of Freedom,” near the Greek-Turkish border while officials rejected migrant entry into Greece.
Greece has rarely done much right in the last couple of decades politically. But, perhaps the small southern European nation of lightly less than 11 million people are beginning to wake up.
As an American whose family originated in Greece, one can hope.