More and more Greeks have been complaining about the long queues and the controls they have to undergo when they arrive at the airports of Germany. Berlin has practically suspended Schengen regulations for flights arriving from Greece as of November 12th 2017. The passport control regulation will be valid until May 2018.
“I felt like a second class citizen, are we equal EU members or not?” my niece said angered that she had to wait for around 30 minutes to pass through the passport control. She flew over the weekend to Hamburg where she lives permanently.
Other media report of Greek passengers who have been left waiting in the cold as passengers on flights from Greece are taken by bus to the airport premises and the passport control areas. All passengers report of intensive questioning by the German passport authorities and describe the procedures as “humiliating.”
The European Commission last month offered initial backing to a Franco-German proposal to allow more permanent border checks within the bloc’s Schengen free-travel zone.
In October, Germany notified the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the President of the European Parliament and the interior ministers of the EU-Schengen states about its decision in a letter on Wednesday.
The German decision has angered the the Greek government and Athens had reportedly lodged a demarche with Berlin over the increased checks on Greek travelers.t.
The Greek government is extremely annoyed with the situation but Athens’s protestations to the German government were seen “as relatively moderate given that the checks are taking place against the backdrop of negotiations between German political parties to form a government and rising concerns over refugee arrivals.”
Germany claims that, so far in 2017, some 1,000 non-Greeks arrived at German airports from Greece without a Schengen certification.
According to the Schengen Agreement, citizens of signatory countries can move freely between those states without border checks.
- Just wondering: do the passport controls at German airports affect all passengers arriving from Greece German citizens including?
On Monday, the European Union adopted new rules that will require border guards to register the entry, exit and refusal of entry information of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of the Schengen passport-free area. Also known as the entry-exit system, the latest plan is billed to crack down on people who overstay their visas and improve the fight against terrorism. The new system will not be in place until 2020.
PS It looks as if German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere knew already in the middle of October that the coalition talks would fail and assured the hardliner agenda for six months. Should Germany head for snap elections, these are expected to take place in three months. Coalition government negotiations will follow and the new German government is not expected to take a seat before April 2018.