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EU Commission: Ylva Johansson urges Greece to end pushbacks


Greece repeatedly rejects asylum seekers at its external borders - and thereby puts their lives in danger. EU Commissioner Johansson is now bringing a cut in funds into play.

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EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson at a press conference in January


The illegal practice of the Greek authorities to remove refugees directly from the country without a lawful asylum procedure has been known for a long time.

However, SPIEGEL research recently uncovered a particularly perfidious approach by the Greek authorities: In the so-called pushbacks, refugees are sometimes used against refugees.

Now the EU Commission is calling on Greece to end "violent and illegal" refusals of asylum seekers.

"Protecting the EU's external borders from illegal entry is an obligation," said EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson on Twitter after talking to several Greek government officials.

"Forcible and illegal deportations of migrants must stop now."

Johansson reminded that the disbursement of EU funds for migration and border protection is linked to the “correct application of EU fundamental rights”.

Johansson announced that the Greek representatives had submitted a proposal on how fundamental human rights should be integrated into the Greek asylum system in the future.

This should come into force in September.

As SPIEGEL and other research partners revealed, the Greek authorities were particularly perfidious and apparently used refugees against refugees.

In return, the men who served the Greek border guards as henchmen for the illegal rejections were promised residence permits.

The police apparently want to protect their own officials with the procedure – the pushbacks are considered very dangerous.

Baerbock also called for clarification

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) recently reacted indirectly to the research and denounced the events at the EU's external borders as "unbearable" and called for clarification.

"The suffering reminds us that we still have a long way to go in the #EU in terms of asylum and migration policy," said the minister.

Baerbock also referred to what was happening in the Spanish North African exclave of Melilla.

There were more than 20 dead and more than 200 injured after a rush of hundreds of people.  

According to European law, Greece must allow asylum seekers who reach Greek territory to seek asylum, but has ignored this law for years.

In April, the Council of Europe denounced a significant increase in unlawful refusals of asylum seekers in European countries.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-07-01

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