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EU threatens Greece over “serious” neglect of its border

refugeeraftThe big guns are still focused on Greece which has been told it could be quarantined from the rest of the EU because of its “serious” border neglect.

A European Commission report said that Greece had “seriously neglected” its borders during the migrant crisis last year.

"The draft report concludes that Greece seriously neglected its obligations and that there are serious deficiencies occurring out of border controls that must be overcome," commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis told a press conference.

The report is based on an evaluation mission in November on the Greek-Turkish land border and several islands in the Aegean Sea, the principal entrance to Europe for hundreds of thousands of migrants last year from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

If the 28 EU member states adopt the report, the Commission will create an “action plan” to strengthen Greek borders, particularly the sea border with Turkey.

"Greece will then have three months to implement actions," Mr Dombrovskis said.

He said the mission found that Greece failed to do sufficient registering and fingerprinting of migrants who entered Greece from Turkey.

Had the EU managed to agree anything resembling a coherent policy on refugees and migrants, it might have been easier for Greece to implement, even with the crippling austerity programme forced on it.

In the last few months, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France and non-EU member Norway have all introduced temporary border controls for six months because of the migrant crisis.

They did so in order to deal with large numbers of migrants still on the move mostly from Greece towards Germany and Sweden

Robert Fico, Slovakian prime minister, on Wednesday said the EU was committing "ritual suicide" with its migration policy.

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-4 #3 Verjini 2016-01-28 09:20
Well put Peter!
Twas obvious from the outset that Schengen was a mad scheme just asking for trouble.
Now, trouble is that the 'media' can't distinguish between (legitimate) refugees, (ditto) asylum-seekers and economic and politcally-motivated migrants. What's wrong with showing your passport - and your FACE?
Greece and the rest of the so-called European 'Union' would be better off out of Schengen, thus able to deal via its own laws, as a, politically, sensitively-placed neighbour of Turkey...
UK citizens never voted to join the post-WWII DL dream of political union, but it would be most inconvenient for EU-wide ex-pats if UK were to exit, no?
-4 #2 Mark Jones 2016-01-28 07:59
Sill not obvious - what exactly is Frontex or indeed the Greek Border force supposed to be doing ? Attempting to turn back any boat leaving Turkish waters ? Machine gunning and sinking any boat that did not turn back - then picking up the survivors?
Likewise in the Med when boats head for Italy ?

And it doesn't help when Spanish Coast Guard sees their job as an 'earner' and hustle the refugees.

OK processing refugees could be done better and anyone without clear documentation is automatically shipped back .. but to where ? The background problem, as with Portugal - if Greece (and Italy?) were working like well oiled machines at all levels of society and in all regions - then they would not be in the mess they have been in these last few years. These are also the EU's economically (due to excessive borrowing), geographically and historically weakest links.
-1 #1 Peter Booker 2016-01-28 07:20
Robert Fico has a point. I have been saying for ages that there was no declared upper limit on migrants or refugees, nor is there any type of published ground on which a migrant may be accepted in Europe, permanently or temporarily.

The war refugees should have a temporary home, even in refugee camps, until their homeland is stable enough to accept them back again. Other types of refugees should be treated strictly on their economic merit (what is the benefit to the country accepting them?); and their ability to integrate should be assessed and taken into account. This ability should include their language skills and their acculturation skills, of which religion should be one element.

As for the attitude towards Greece, it beggars belief. There are countless islands to police, some of them only a stone´s throw from Turkey. Instead of criticising the Greeks, why not offer to shore up the patrols of an obviously difficult border? Are we members of a European Union, or a collection of nation states with an inefficient central control?

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