Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined on Monday that “a fair migration policy does not mean open or non-existent borders, but rules. And we observed these rules in 2020 against the instrumentalization of the refugee crisis,” speaking at an event in Athens during a conference entitled “European Solutions to the Common Challenge of Migration.”

The Greek premier made it clear in his statements that guarding its borders was non-negotiable for Greece.

Mitsotakis highlighted the need for a common European solution to the migration problem, during an event also attended by the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and ambassadors of EU countries.

The prime minister, who had earlier met with Johansson, stressed that the manner in which the EU managed the problem would bear on the bloc’s credibility, adding that it must be proven in practice whether the EU can translate its declarations into an effective policy.

“An opponent of the state is anyone illegal,” Mitsotakis, said adding that illegal migrant flows have dwindled significantly in 2023 compared to previous years, and that his government has managed the problem much better than other European countries.

In addition, he pointed out that Greece often acted as an transit country for migrants, whose final destination are countries in northern Europe, highlighting Greece’s role in guarding Europe’s southeastern land and sea borders.