EU Border Patrol Will Help Greece Deport More Refugees, Migrants

The EU border agency Frontex, which had been accused of helping Greece cover up pushbacks of refugees and migrants – which the government denied – said it would now help expedite the deportation of those rejected for asylum.

That was agreed in a meeting between the agency’s new head, Hans Leitjens, in a meeting with Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachis and Citizens’ Protection Minister Panagiotis Theodorikakos, said Info Migrants and Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa.)

Under the agreement, Frontex will also help Greek authorities with identifying and counseling migrants “to inform them about the possibilities to return voluntarily to their home countries and receive integration support.”

“Returns are an essential part of border management, so I am proud that we can provide even more support to Greece in this important area,” said Leijtens in a statement without reporters, avoiding questions.

Greece wants the EU to increase the return of refugees and migrants to their home countries although Turkey – the jumping off point that refugees use to try to reach the European Union – is supposed to take back those rejected for asylum.

That’s under an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the EU that has seen Turkey allow human smugglers to keep sending refugees and migrants to five Greek islands near Turkey’s coast and the land border along the Evros River.

“A low number of returns of those who are not eligible for asylum undermines credibility and the asylum system as a whole,” Mitarachis said as they had to wait up to two years or more before numbers lessened during the COVID pandemic.

Frontex has a budget of 750 million euros ($795.15 million) and is particularly active in Greece, one of the EU’s furthest points, helping Greece’s Coast Guard and patrols be on the lookout for refugees and migrants trying to get in.


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