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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Greece and Schengen

From The Pappas Post - "Strong warnings— or rather ultimatums— have come from senior European Union leaders to the Greek government over its handling of the refugee crisis over what The Financial Times called 'Athens’ reluctance to accept outside support' to secure the country porous sea borders".

EU Observer report - Greece says 'European circles' creating bad will on Schengen

EU Observer - Schengen border is a 'Swiss cheese' - Verhofstadt

Greek News Agenda report - "The Greek government has repeatedly pointed out that the migrant and refugee crisis is a European issue that needs to be dealt with at European level. As the crisis continues to escalate, recent media stories have been reporting that Greece is being threatened by the EU with suspension from the Schengen Zone unless it overhauls its response to the migration crisis by mid-December.

Responding to the reports, the government admits it has come under pressure on the issue, but strongly rejects allegations of any threats at official level.

According to a press statement issued yesterday, government spokesperson, Olga Gerovasili underlined that suspension has never been raised in the EU framework, noting her regret that certain circles within the EU insist on distorting reality, in the belief that Europe's future could be structured on phobic reflexes, fences and exclusion".

Noting that despite great difficulties, Greece has been fulfilling its European obligations, including the setting up of hotspots, accommodation centers and exercising effective border management, a fact very clearly acknowledged at the recent meeting of eight EU Member States in the margins of the EU-Turkey Summit. Meanwhile, Greece expects its European partners to fulfill their own commitments.

Alt. Minister for Migration Policy Ioannis Mouzalas also acknowledged that Greece is under pressure from some European states that think it feasible to control inflows at sea borders. Adding that as long as Turkey does not put an end to people smugglers operating on its coastline, Athens could not stop boats loaded with refugees from landing on its islands in the Aegean Sea.

The Pappas Post -Greece Blinks on Schengen Suspension Threats; Requests Official EU Help and Border Assistance

European Commission Press Release

Operational Plan with FRONTEX

Greek News Agenda II - Opinion: Schengen and EU Responsibilities on Refugee Crisis

The Guardian - Kicking Greece out of Schengen won’t stop the refugee crisis, Apostolis Fotiadis

Kathimerini - Λήξη συναγερμού για την Σένγκεν

EU welcomes Greek request for border aid

Kathimerini update - Σε πολιτική στενωπό η κυβέρνηση

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