Germany to start migrant returns
Minister confirms to ARD Berlin will begin sending asylum seekers back to Greece
Migration MinisterYiannis Mouzalas has reportedly confirmed to a German TV station that Berlin will start returning newly arrived asylum seekers to Greece, effectively ending a five-year suspension of such transfers due to the dire financial situation in Greece.
In an interview with the show “Report Mainz,” due to be aired by ARD today, Mouzalas said that Greek authorities have received 392 requests and approved the return of “a small number” of asylum seekers from Germany and some other European Union countries.
Under the EU’s so-called Dublin regulations, would-be refugees must file for asylum in the first memberstate of the bloc they enter. If they have traveled on to other EU nations, they must be returned to their first port of call. The requirement was halted for Greece in 2011 because of shortcomings in the country’s asylum system. The reinstatement of Dublin rules is based on a European Commission recommendation issued in December.
“There was pressure from several EU countries [on Greece] to resume returns. I understand that [EU] governments want to show some re- sults to their voters,” Mouzalas said.
However, Pro Asyl, Germany’s largest pro-immigration advocacy organization, has criticized the returns to Greece.
Karl Kopp, who represents the organization in the European Council on Refugees, reportedly told “Report Mainz” that the situation in Greece remains dire and that the country needs more help.