Commission spox on resumed internal border controls by German authorities on flights from Greece

22 November 2017
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An EU Commission official on Tuesday said a three-party meeting between EU experts along with representatives from Greece and Germany will examine recent high-profile charges that German authorities are bypassing Schengen procedures and conducting border checks on passengers arriving at German airports from Greek destinations.

Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said Germany is one of a handful of EU countries that has temporarily restored checks on intra-Schengen arrivals, and specifically on flights arriving from Greece.

She said the development aims to deal with a risk of irregular migration.

Bertaud merely added that Berlin has offered assurances that the stricter measures are “targeted and limited”, in order to ensure public policy and internal security.

The strict border checks, including having passengers transported by bus to a separate terminal for passport control, have generated sharp criticism in Greece.

The development comes after a migrant-refugee crisis erupted in the eastern Aegean in 2015, as up to a million people identified as Mideast war refugees were ferried over from Turkey’s western coast to a handful of Greek isles by migrant smugglers. Third world nationals from other countries, ranging from Morocco to Bangladesh to sub-Sahara Africa, also took advantage of the flow to enter Greece, as part of a bid to continue on to preferred destinations in central and northern Europe by various European crossing borders without checks.

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