Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Frontex to Guard FYROM, Albania Borders With Greece, German Mag says
By Philip Chrysopoulos -
Dec 13, 2016
frontex_0_0Frontex is sending guards to patrol Greece’s borders with FYROM and Albania in case Turkey starts sending boat loads of migrants to Greece, a Spiegel report says.
According to the German magazine, the threat of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opening the “gates” to flood Europe with migrants and refugees is all too real and the European Union is taking steps to secure its internal borders.
Since 2014, at least one million refugees and migrants entered Europe through Greece, the main entry point from the East. The vast majority of them moved to the more affluent northern European nations through the so-called Balkan Routes of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and some through Albania — both non-EU countries.
The report says that this is the first time Frontex is sending guards to internal EU borders. In January and February, 60 Frontex guards will be employed to each border. Two groups of Frontex staff will be employed; one will focus on passport control at official border crossings and the second will patrol the borders between Greece and FYROM, in order to prevent illegal passage.
According to the report, last week senior representatives of Frontex and Greek police inspected the region these operations will take place in. The headquarters will be at Kilkis and a second base will be at Evzoni.
Citing police documents, Spiegel says that Frontex forces could be could be extended to the border between Greece and Albania. Until now, Frontex personnel at the northern Greek border simply register refugees, since Greece has refused to allow Frontex staff to patrol the northern border.