Greece threatens to unleash wave of migrants on the rest of Europe 'including Isis jihadists'

'If they strike us, we will strike them'

Adam Withnall
Tuesday 10 March 2015 10:48 GMT
File: Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels on February 4, 2015
File: Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels on February 4, 2015 (Getty Images)

Greece has threatened the rest of Europe with a “wave of economic migrants” that could include Isis militants if the country is allowed to go bust by international lenders.

In a shock escalation of the rhetoric surrounding bailout talks in Brussels, the Greek defence minister Panos Kammenos vowed: “If they strike us, we will strike them.”

European creditors told Athens to stop “wasting time” putting forward its proposals for economic reforms pledged by the new left-wing Syriza-led coalition government.

“If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and it will be even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the Islamic State too.

Mr Kammenos, who is also the leader of Syriza’s minor coalition partners Independent Greeks, specifically referred to the Schengen area of free travel in his threat, and said his country would give all comers papers so they “could go straight to Berlin”.

Britain, which has maintained its border controls, would not be so directly affected. But the implication from the Greek defence minister is that allowing his country to go bust would impact the terror threat level for the entire continent.

Earlier on Monday, bailout talks chair and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters at the fourth set of Brussels talks in a month that “we’ve talked about this long enough now”.

“We have spent now two weeks apparently discussing who meets whom where, in what configuration, and on what agenda and it is a complete waste of time,” he said.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis agreed to begin talks on the details of his country’s reform proposals on Wednesday, and rejected Dijsselbloem’s criticism.

“There has been no time wasted, not by the Greek government,” he said. “We were very speedy.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in