Turkey fa­cil­i­tates mi­grant re­turns

Mer­chant Marine Min­istry data show that closer co­op­er­a­tion is yield­ing re­sults

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Closer co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Greek and Turk­ish coast guard au­thor­i­ties has led to 11,000 un­doc­u­mented mi­grants be­ing pre­vented from en­ter­ing Greek bor­ders and re­turned to the neigh­bor­ing coun­try since the start of the year, data pre­sented by the Mer­chant Marine Min­istry yes­ter­day showed.

Strife in the Mid­dle East and Syria in par­tic­u­lar has put in­creased pres­sure on pa­trols in the north­ern Aegean, with the min­istry es­ti­mat­ing that while 11,000 un­doc­u­mented mi­grants were pre­vented from en­ter­ing, as many as 30,000 or more have made it into Greece in the past 10 months alone.

The data pre­sented yes­ter­day showed that from the start of the year un­til Thurs­day, a to­tal of 29,281 un­doc­u­mented mi­grants and 210 sus­pected traf­fick­ers were ar­rested dur­ing 1,063 in­ter­cep­tions.

“We are op­posed to the con­cept of open bor­ders, which is why we have el­e­vated the is­sue of il­le­gal mi­gra­tion to the top of the Euro­pean agenda,” Mer­chant Marine Min­is­ter Mil­tiadis Varvit­si­o­tis told Kathimerini yes­ter­day.

The min­istry has also re­sponded to the in­creased in­flow of refugees and mi­grants in the Aegean by tak­ing some 700 coast guard of­fi­cers off their desk jobs, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of of­fi­cers con­duct­ing pa­trols to 2,500.

A re­port pub­lished last month by the Euro­pean bor­der agency Fron­tex showed a 50 per­cent hike in il­le­gal mi­gra­tion to Greece and Spain in April-June com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

Ar­rests at all Euro­pean Union bor­ders grew by 170 per­cent in the same pe­riod year-on-year, Fron­tex said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.