Donald Tusk said during a press conference on the migrant crisis in Athens: “I want to appeal to all potential illegal economic migrants wherever you are from: Do not come to Europe.
“Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing.
Donald Tusk’s comments came after Brussels called on member states to deport any migrants who travel through safe countries without claiming asylum
“Excluding Greece from Schengen is neither an end nor a means in this crisis. Greece is part of Schengen, of the euro area and of the European Union and will remain so.”
The EU president is holding talks in Athens today as part of his regional tour on the refugee crisis with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The EU finally tried to wrestle back control of the spiralling migrant chaos yesterday with the announcement that 308 illegals are being shipped back to Turkey as part of a landmark agreement.
Brussels also urged member states to automatically deport any migrants who deliberately pass up the opportunity to claim asylum in safe countries to travel to Britain, Germany and Scandinavia where benefits are more generous.
However, despite the rhetoric the EU still faces a gargantuan task to bring immigration under control with more than 20,000 migrants trapped in Greece alone.
Yesterday the boss of the EU’s border agency Frontex revealed that immigration is running at an astonishing thirty times higher than during the same period last year, whilst Finland has said it is braced for a sixfold increase in asylum applications.
More than a million migrants entered Europe last year
The first migrants were deported to Turkey today
European Council president Donald Tusk vowed to provide further help to member states to deport illegal immigrants and said reinstating the Dublin Agreement – by which all migrants have to claim asylum in the first EU country they reach – is the only way to save the Schengen zone.
During a visit to embattled Croatia, which is on the frontline of the migrant trail between Greece and Germany, he told the country’s Prime Minister Tihomir Oreškovi? that the time has come for Europe to get tough on illegal immigrants.
Europe is buckling under an unprecedented migration crisis
The announcement follows intense migrant violence in Calais
“Member States should refuse entry to third-country nationals who do not meet the necessary conditions or who, although they were able to do so earlier, did not apply for asylum.”
Croatia is currently preparing to send its army to the border with Serbia in a desperate bid to halt the flow of migrants pouring through.
Mr Tusk’s comments came after it emerged that the EU is deporting the first 308 immigrants back to Turkey under a landmark agreement with the country.
European leaders agreed to give Turkey around three billion euros and grants its citizens visa-free travel in return for bolstering efforts to stop the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.