With Schengen under threat, Greece accepts EU help

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By Alastair Macdonald and Alexandros Avramidis BRUSSELS/IDOMENI (Reuters) - Greece asked for European help on Thursday to secure its borders and care for crowds of migrants, defusing threats from EU allies to bar it from the passport-free Schengen zone if it failed to get a grip. Hours before EU interior ministers are to meet on Friday to consider what to do about Greece's inability to stem the flow of refugees and others streaming toward Europe's rich north, the Athens government finally heeded calls from Brussels and agreed to accept European aid and foreign border guards. Its acceptance of three offers -- EU staff to help on its northern frontier, foreign border guards on its Aegean islands and tents and supplies to house stranded migrants -- was quickly welcomed by the EU executive and Migration Commissioner Dmitris Avramopoulos, a Greek himself, called for EU states to help.