One day before the EU summit in Brussels with the Migration Crisis high on the agenda, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that shutting down Greece’s borders to slow the influx was illegal and unacceptable.
In an interview with German conservative daily BILD, Juncker was asked whether closing Greece’s border to FYROM – as four Central European countries demand – would decrease the number of refugees at the German borders.
Juncker: “Working with third countries in order to close the border of one of our member states, is neither legally possible nor politically acceptable. We support the border security on both sides, the Greek and Macedonian. Only if we work more closely together and coordinate us, we can do it -. without destroying confidence and therefore jeopardize the Schengen and our domestic freedom.”
Question: Do you still believe that the EU will take the refugee crisis under control?
Juncker: “As we did with the debt crisis, only a package of measures jointly developed will have the desired effect in the refugee crisis. Yes, it will take time until all measures we have decided upon in recent weeks and months will show effect.”
Quoting the EC report on Greece & the Refugee Crisis, Juncker said further that “Greece now takes the fingerprints of nine out of ten asylum seekers; in September that was at 8%.”
He praised Turkey saying “Thanks to important decisions taken by the Turkish government, we see a decline in the number of refugees coming from there. According to Frontex, daily arrivals from Turkey to Greece were 7,000 in October and 3,500 in December. Today, they are 2,000. We see finally started to make progress. ”
On Tuesday, Austria joined the chorus of the four ex communist countries, the so-called The Visengrad Four (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) that demand the shutting off Greece’s borders to FYROM.
Just a few days ago, the European Commission and President Juncker approved 10 million euro assistance to FYROM for the purpose of “border management.”
I am sure, experienced politicians like Juncker know very well how to deal with discrepancies and contradictions.
“so? it is illegal, right?”
PS Juncker said “macedonian border”? I hope, no Greek diplomat reads Juncker’s interview as we all know that “Macedonia is the geographical place in northern Greece” and the country is officially called Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Name dispute between Athens and Skopje, you know?