We have been there, we have seen that for countless times since 2010: in times of crisis and EU’s inability to cope with crises, everyone feels obliged to fire a salvo of incredible nonsense, mis-considering it to be a proof of divine inspiration. The latest example is the Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon who proposed in all seriousness that “a camp to host 300,000-400,000 migrants should be established in Greece.” Jambon made his proposal during the EU Interior Ministers conference about Migration on Monday in Amsterdam, Holland.
Jambon’s proposal shows that several EU leaders have already gone a step further and that their threat to “expel Greece from the Schengen” is an agreed thing.
Before the ministers meeting, The Times revealed that
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark would warn Greece that it had just “six weeks to stop migrants crossing from Turkey or it will be “quarantined” outside the European Union’s borderless Schengen area.”
The plan of the five countries is to “seal off Greece for two years” and establish a new EU external border between Greece and FYROM which is not even an EU- let alone a Schengen-member. EU joint police forces will safeguard the borders between FYROM and Greece.
Greece vehemently rejects such option and Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas warned that this would trap thousands of migrants in Greece and described such plans as “a dangerous experiment” that would turn the country into a “cemetery of souls”.
Unwilling to accept migrants and refugees on their soil and obey to the decisions they have taken (‘refugees quota’) EU-member states officials put all the blame on Greece and accuse it for not doing enough to control the influx of migrants into Europe via its shores.
Of course, this is easier said than done: it is Frontex itself, the EU’s border agency, that admitted that is is nearly impossible to seal Greece’s sea borders. It is not clear though, whether the Frontex blamed its own working hours modus for the failure to seal the Greek sea borders. The Frontex officials have free weekends and work during the week until 3 p.m.
But the truth is that the majority of EU members states have absolutely no idea about the realities in the sea and the sea borders.
“No matter how many patrol boats are out in Greek waters, attempting to force a vessel of asylum-seekers back into Turkish waters is both illegal and dangerous, even in calm seas. So unless a Turkish patrol stops a migrant boat and returns it to Turkey, there is little Greek or Frontex patrols can do once it has entered Greek territorial waters but arrest the smugglers and pick up the passengers or escort the vessel safely to land.” (via AssociatedPress)
Neither the Greek Coast Guard nor the Frontex can arbitrarily take the boat with refugees and migrants back to the Turkish waters or Turkish coast.
So what can be done? Raise a floating fence or use bullets and sink the boats in international or in Greek waters?
While EU politicians are unable to bring up even the slightest specific idea on how to solve the influx of migrants and refugees to Europe via the Greek shores, some journalists apparently know and show the way out: Trade Greek Debt for migrants camps!
A commentator at Financial Times added his own icing on top of the EU-Banana-Union-Cake prepared by Belgian Jambon and suggested that
“Europe should offer the writing-off Greek debt in exchange for establishing refugee camps within the country.
The broad outlines of the deal would be simple. Greece agrees to seal its northern border with EU help, stopping the flow of migrants into northern Europe. In return, Germany agrees to a massive writedown of Greek debt, as well as immediate financial aid to cope with the current crisis. Refugees arriving in Greece are then housed in EU-run camps on Greek islands in the expectation that they will return to Syria (or wherever else they are fleeing) once peace is restored.
If Greeks accept this, it would become much easier for Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to make the case for debt relief for Greece to her voters. And once the Germans moved, the rest of Greece’s creditors could be expected to fall in line.”
Lost in their own Greek-bashing mania, EU officials and journalists “forgot” Turkey and its commitment to control the flow of refugees and migrants. Unless the EU did not give the 3-billion euro cheque to Ankara yet…
PS the Nobel Award should not be given to Greek islanders for hosting refugees and migrants but to all Greeks as a nation for the unprecedented verbal abuse they have suffered and their permanent and massive exposure to the crap scenarios written by the EU naughty boys and the smart clogs of journalists since 2010.
The EU is trying to make Greece the scapegoat for its’ failure to solve a humanitarian
The EU states that just want to close their eyes, shut their doors, pass the blame around and wash their hands of any responsibility should be condemmed.
I hope Greece and/or the islands are recognised for the Nobel prize and those EU countries that have done nothing are shamed.
Greece should start printing short time running Greek passports for every refugee, so they can travel legally where they want.
Arrest all Frontex doing illegal actions at the border, it’s dangerous what they do as they don’t have any idea about Fyrom.
It’s also much more than just sabotage against the Athens-Skopje negotiations regarding the name-trouble. If they keep on with that pace we can await more funny things like telling Turkey to de-construct the reunification of Cyrus; the historian roles of GB, NATO and CIA on Cyprus could be worth to study.
Can someone educate me: What is preventing Greece to deport refugees back to Turkey? Is it that there is no proof the refugees came to Greece through Turkey? Or is it that Greece does not recognize Turkey as a “safe country” for refugees? Something else?
in order for Greece to deport refugees back to Turkey has to accept them but Turkey does not. so what will happen is Gr puts the deportees on the plane, they land in Istanbul, authorities there do not allow them to enter the country so they send them back. ‘Tom Hanks in the airport’… There is an agreement betw Gr & Tr signed beginning of 2000 (? – not sure) for the acceptance of refugees & migrants but Turkey does not implement it. On its part Turkey should further deport ‘refugees/migrants’ to their country of origin. Of course, Tr cannot deport Syrian refugees to Syria as it is not a safe country – I suppose the same is valid for Afghans and Iraqis. As for the rest of refugees & economic migrants: refugees from war zones cannot be deported, some countries do not accept back econ migrants claiming they had false documents etc etc.
The key is Turkey.
Turkey is the problem in many respects. First of all, it allows almost all countries’ citizens to enter Turkey without visa control. That means it is an obvious transit country for refugees. Secondly, it does not hand out refugee status to anyone (has major reservations to the Bellagio Protocol of 1967 — which means it accepts refugees only from Europe). Thirdly, it is playing a political game to manipulate the EU — with its postponed accession application.
For details of the 2001 agreement with Turkey, here is an old paper I wrote on it. http://aei.pitt.edu/7043/ . There is a new EU readmission agreement with Turkey, but it too seems not to be functioning…
of course the Turkey-EU accession won’t work. Turkey wants an economic accession only anyway – Erdogan & Co know very well that they cannot accept EU directives and other EU common values & standards crap. that was Erdogan’s aim anyway since he came into power in 2004.