EU ‘snubbed’ Greek plan to deal with refugee cri­sis

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As Greece fends off crit­i­cism for its han­dling of a bur­geon­ing refugee cri­sis, sources in the Hel­lenic Po­lice and Coast Guard have told Kathimerini that a plan was jointly pre­sented to the Euro­pean Union’s bor­der agency, Fron­tex, more than two months ago.

Kathimerini un­der­stands that a team of Greek of­fi­cials vis­ited Fron­tex head­quar­ters on June 18 and pre­sented a plan for strength­en­ing pa­trols at sea and on land on Greece’s por­ous Aegean bor­der with Tur­key, a ma­jor transit point for refugees from the Mid­dle East try­ing to reach Europe.

The plan called for of­fi­cers to be trans­ferred from the Greek po­lice and other Euro­pean forces to help pa­trol borders and process ar­rivals. It also re­quested fin­ger­print­ing equip­ment and ve­hi­cles to speed up iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and trans­porta­tion on the is­land of Lesvos, one of the is­lands bear­ing the brunt of the in­flux.

The sources told Kathimerini that although Fron­tex ap­proved the pro­posal, it was un­able to get other Euro­pean gov­ern­ments to en­dorse it. The agency is said to have told Greek of­fi­cials to start im­ple­ment­ing the plan, promis­ing to cover the cost of the Greek po­lice of­fi­cers’ trans­fer. It was also sug­gested that Fron­tex has al­ready dis­bursed 100,000 eu­ros to this end, though this was re­futed by gov­ern­ment sources.

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