If only it were all so simple :On Jan. 27, the European Commission issued a report saying that Greece “is seriously neglecting its obligations” and that there are “serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls.” Brussels gave Athens three months to improve its border controls, or risk being ousted from the passport-free area. But kicking Greece out of the Schengen zone will not have much impact on the influx of migrants to Europe since Greece does not share land borders with any other Schengen members as reported by Stratfor.
European Union’s original strategies of cooperating with Turkey to limit the number of asylum seekers and redistributing migrants across the Continent have clearly failed. Now, EU member states are looking for alternative approaches as they try to stem the tide of asylum seekers flowing into Europe, and they appear to have reached an agreement on who is to blame: Greece.
— Bloomberg Business (@business) 30 Janvier 2016
Europe is struggling to find a solution to a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, using the county as an entry-point to the bloc from where they travel to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum. As the first stopping-off point in the 28-nation EU, Greece painted itself as a victim of geography. Some 900,000 refugees have swamped Greece since the start of 2015, with the average daily count of 1,910 in January so far, according to the United Nations.
Germany and Austria are among the refugees’ most popular destinations. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.55 million illegal border crossings in 2015.
Unwilling to accept migrants and refugees on their soil and obey to the decisions they have taken (‘refugees quota’) EU-member states officials put all the blame on Greece and accuse it for not doing enough to control the influx of migrants into Europe via its shores.
Of course, this is easier said than done: it is Frontex itself, the EU’s border agency, that admitted that is is nearly impossible to seal Greece’s sea borders. It is not clear though, whether the Frontex blamed its own working hours modus for the failure to seal the Greek sea borders. The Frontex officials have free weekends and work during the week until 3 p.m.
After the bad management of the greek financial crisis taking place last summer, Germany and Austria pressured Greece to seal off its Aegean Sea border with Turkey, warning that the unchecked march of refugees from the Middle East would lead to longer-lasting passport controls at internal borders in western Europe.
Last week, Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said that if Athens failed to secure its borders, also serving as the external borders of the European Union, there should be a discussion of temporarily excluding the country from the Schengen zone.
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark warn Greece that it had just “six weeks to stop migrants crossing from Turkey or it will be “quarantined” outside the European Union’s borderless Schengen area.”
The plan of the five countries is to “seal off Greece for two years” and establish a new EU external border between Greece and FYROM which is not even an EU- let alone a Schengen-member. EU joint police forces will safeguard the borders between FYROM and Greece.
Ioannis Mouzalas, the Greek minister for migration, said the fault rests with other European governments for failing to help settle refugees in Turkey and for refusing to house those who hazard the journey toward the continent’s wealthier west.
“There’s a big and unfair blame game against Greece,” Mouzalas told reporters at a meeting of European Union interior ministers in Amsterdam on Monday. Europe, he said, has shortchanged Greece by providing smaller-than-promised numbers of everything from cots and fingerprinting machines to border guards.
— mark latonero (@latonero) 15 Janvier 2016
- Frauke Petry, leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) group, made some very controversial comments to a German newspaper:
She said it should not be shy about turning people back and creating “border protection installations” – and that border guards should, if necessary, shoot at migrants trying to enter illegally.No police officer wanted to shoot at a migrant, Ms Petry said, adding: “I don’t want that either but, ultimately, deterrence includes the use of armed force”.
- Financial Times Gallop on Greek Debt Write Down in Exchange for Refugees
Indeed, apparently Brussels technocrats are intrigued by the debate and the proposal has generated throughout Europe.
The broad outlines of the deal as it was outlined by FT.com would be simple :Greece agrees to seal its northern border with EU help, stopping the flow of migrants into northern Europe. In return, Germany agrees to a massive writedown of Greek debt, as well as immediate financial aid to cope with the current crisis. Refugees arriving in Greece are then housed in EU-run camps on Greek islands in the expectation that they will return to Syria (or wherever else they are fleeing) once peace is restored.
If Greeks accept this, it would become much easier for Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to make the case for debt relief for Greece to her voters. And once the Germans moved, the rest of Greece’s creditors could be expected to fall in line.”
The Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon who proposed in all seriousness that “a camp to host 300,000-400,000 migrants should be established in Greece.” Jambon made his proposal during the EU Interior Ministers conference about Migration on Monday in Amsterdam, Holland.
FT editors have decided to hold a gallop to see how many people agree with the idea of a Greek debt write down in exchange for the conversion of Greece into a huge, permanent refugee camp.
For Stratfor, removing Greece from the Continent’s passport-free zone could inflame anti-EU sentiments in Greece, reducing popular support for the eurozone and the economic reforms linked to it. The Syriza government controls only a small majority in Parliament and is facing protests over its controversial plan to reform the country’s pension system. If the Schengen group ousts Greece, the current administration could collapse if lawmakers refuse to move forward with planned reforms as a form of protest against the European Union. This would derail Athens’ bailout program and add to the uncertainty surrounding Greece’s future.
Calls to quarantine Greece and to prevent the onward movement of asylum seekers put their rights at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. Asylum seekers and migrants in Greece face chaotic registration procedures, serious obstacles to applying for asylum, and inadequate reception conditions.
Lost in their own “it’s greece fault” mania, EU officials and journalists “forgot” Turkey and its commitment to control the flow of refugees and migrants. But, on the ground (in Turkey) the situation is very complexed and for Turkey to cope alone with the refugee crisis is not the answer.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Friday, Anders Ygeman, the Swedish Interior Minister, said both Sweden and other European countries have been unsuccessful in solving the worst refugee crisis facing the 28-nation bloc since World War II.
He said the EU must stick to the promises it made in a refugee action plan, under which the bloc will give Turkey 3 billion euros to meet the needs of refugees in the country.
For HRW, Authorities in Athens are struggling to find facilities to temporarily host thousands of people. Many asylum seekers, including children, are left unassisted, destitute, homeless or living in substandard conditions. According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, the total reception capacity for those who have applied for asylum in Greece is 2,109 places.
In my own opinion, Nobel Award should not be given to Greek islanders for hosting refugees and migrants but to all Greeks as a nation for the unprecedented verbal abuse they have suffered and their permanent and massive exposure to the crap scenarios written by the technocrats in Brussels and the IMF and the smart block of journalists since 2010 as the Financial Times.
Stories as creating huge immigrant camps in Greece, closing borders and trying to find some Schengen Treaty “windows” for each country to put itself out from the refugee crisis, seems that Europe “as a common democracy” has failed or even deteriorated and is becoming dangerous for the generations to come. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion: Europe is becoming a continent where force matters more than law as when Germany forced Greece to accept a programme that will destroy its economy and strip its state of assets for the next 50 years.