On this day the European Union President, after having failed to force Greece to obey the European Court of Justice ruling, ordered the Eurocorps to prepare for "peacekeeping" occupation duties in Greece.
Series II of Greece Starts The Rot: Greece Under Fire Part 09To say that the announcement took Europe and the world by shock was an understatement. Another shock was that
the Republic of Macedonia had agreed to host the Eurocorps for any operations required against Greece, even though its armed forces would not take part in any such operations, in return for a favourable response to their request for EU membership.
European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that, whilst extremely regrettable, he felt he had no option but to use the military one in order to enforce the Court's ruling on Greece.
The Eurocorps would include troops from Germany, Poland, Austria, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, along with
air support from all six countries.
The EU Defence Commissioner Federica Mogherini said that she hoped the Eurocorps efforts would not require
military action, but rather they would be in line with peacekeeping operations elsewhere until the Court of Justice
ruling, and EU policy, was implemented in Greece.
She added "However, they will be authorised to defend themselves, should armed resistance occur, but we sincerely hope that it will not come to that".
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras blasted the decision of the EU as nothing but warmongering. He said "We view this latest development in the most gravest of circumstances. It goes without saying that the Hellenic Armed Forces will be placed on high alert in order to meet this threat.
"Alas the greatest tragedy in this entire affair is the actions of the Republic of Macedonia. They have accepted thirty pieces of silver for their so-called prosperity".
After the Prime Minister had spoken, the Defence Minister Panos Kammenos announced that the Hellenic Armed
Forces were on full alert and that all units would prepare for any contingency in order to counter any move from
Eurocorps. Kammenos said "Alerts will now go out to all reservists, across all three forces, which will require them to
attend their appropriate base or barracks.
"Those called up, should note, that this is a lawful requirement and severe punishment may result in any non-compliance.
"But above all, it is the duty of every Greek to attend to their duty. Greece is under threat of armed military invasion.
Our duty is to protect her with our very lives if required".
Not everyone in the Juncker Commission agreed with the latest escalation. Lead by the Dutch First Vice President Frans Timmermans, several Commissioners resigned their positions in protest of Juncker's decision to resort to military intervention.
Timmermans made a simple announcement to waiting media. In part he said: "We are all about to witness a great European tragedy.
"I have worked all my life for better European relations, peace, and the fundamental rights of all people.
"In one day a lifetime of work as been utterly destroyed".