Mouzalas admits gov’t is being prepared to have Greece’s borders closed

10 February 2016
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Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas admitted on Wednesday that Greek government is being prepared “to have our borders closed”.
However, he said that Greece will be able to address the difficult situation.

Asked about NATO’s involvement in migration patrols in the Aegean Sea he said it is a “positive action in principle” because, as he said, NATO will patrol near the Turkish coast.

At the same time, the Financial Times newspaper revealed a new EU plan aiming to put more pressure on Greece regarding refugee issue.
According to FT, Brussels will press Athens to improve conditions for asylum seekers so as to make “it easier for other EU member states to send migrants back to Greece”.

The European Commission will set out a list of concrete steps that Greece should take to improve its facilities so as to meet international standards, including the provision of tribunals to hear asylum claims, as FT reports.

In this way, Dublin regulation referred to the deportation of asylum seekers in the host country will be activated again for Greece, as the article claims, adding that “Dublin regulation basically allows for asylum seekers who later move elsewhere in the bloc to be deported back to the EU country in which they first arrived”.

But, as it is mentioned deportations to Greece have been banned since 2011 when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Greece’s asylum system was “degrading”.

“Greece’s de facto exclusion from the Dublin rules has thrown the system into disarray” says the article.
Apart from this, in another summit on the crisis which will take place in Brussels next week, EU leaders will ask countries at the bloc’s borders, such as Greece and Italy, to refuse entry to those who have not made an asylum claim “despite having had the opportunity to do so”, according to draft conclusions from the meeting.

Some believe that EU latest move is intended to put more pressure on Greece over migration policy.

“I am reading this in a political way. It is a way of threatening Greece,” said one policy analyst to FT.

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