In a veiled threat to the EU and its financial institutions, Greece has warned that any foreign meddling in its domestic affairs makes the likelihood of ISIS infiltration into Europe more likely.
Speaking to the Times, defence minister Panos Kammenos warned that “consistent” attempts by Brussels to divide the government coalition would destabilise the country, leaving Athens unable to properly patrol Greece’s borders.
“This gross meddling into [Greek] domestic affairs isn’t just unheard of by European standards, it’s unethical and it’s dangerous. If Greece goes, then a lot more than financial stability and the euro is at stake,” he said.
“Europe has to realise that by keeping Greece stable, the West’s front against Isis is secure. But if pushed out or forced out of the eurozone . . . waves of undocumented migrants, including radical elements, will spill in from Turkey, making their way to the heart of the West.”
Greece has one of the most porous borders in the EU, thanks to the thousands of Greek-owned islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, only 227 of which are inhabited. They give the country one of the longest shorelines in the EU, lying at its closest point less than a mile off the coast of Turkey.
Meanwhile, faced with a growing wave of refugees from war-torn Syria and the Middle East, Turkey has been encouraging migration across the sea. Almost 650 migrants were picked up on the Greek coastline by the national coast guard in just one night recently.
“If these waves of migration grow, then the threat of extremist elements flowing in will grow not just for Greece but all of the West,” Mr Kammenos said. He chided Brussels and Berlin for bullying Greece into “a complete and ultimate financial surrender.”
However, Yanis Varoufakis, the Marxist finance minister has confirmed that Greece will be honouring a commitment to repay €430 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday as scheduled. Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, said that she “welcomed confirmation by the minister” that the payment would be made.
Greek government officials have said that they expect to run out of money by April 20th.