Portugal sends tents, blankets and other items to migrants camped on Greek frontier

Portugal is sending tents, blankets and other items to help migrants camped on the Greek frontier as a result of Turkey having ‘opened its border’ prompting a new crisis.

But contrary to the message late last week, this country will not be participating in “containment actions”.

In other words, Portugal won’t be opening its arms to any of the refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict despite the fact that ministers acknowledge they are being used as pawns in a very ugly game (click here).

Speaking after a meeting of the Council of Europe called specifically to discuss the latest crisis, minister for internal affairs Eduardo Cabrita stressed that the throngs desperate to reach Europe are the last people to blame for this latest situation.

Quizzed however on the alleged abuses by Greek authorities in repelling crowds at the border, he admitted it was important to respect the principles of international law and human rights.

Cabrita said Portugal nonetheless agrees “with the joint commitment to safeguard the borders of the European Union”.

Today, ministers for foreign affairs are also meeting to discuss ways of diffusing the hiatus.

Explain reports, tensions between Ankara (Turkey’s capital) and Brussels have intensified since President Erdogan made the decision to let migrants through to Europe in a bid to wrestle further EU aid in combating Syrian forces.

Greece isn’t the only country caught in the middle. Bulgaria and Cyprus are also desperately trying to head-off people trying and cross into their territories from Turkey.

President Erdogan meantime appears to have brokered some kind of ceasefire deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Says the BBC, the agreement “lacked any mention of a safe zone where displaced Syrians could take shelter”, while Sky News commented: “Syria ceasefires are usually short-lived – there’s no reason why this one will buck that trend”

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com