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Frontex praises “Balkan Route closure”, Greece to open another 40 Hot Spots

The closure of the Balkan Route was more efficient than the EU Turkey Deal as it discouraged refugees and migrants to come to Greece. This is more or less what the EU’s border Agency Frontex says in a analysis that has not been published yet, but obtained by German daily WELT.

The Frontex comes to the conclusion that “after 19the February, when the Macedonian authorities introduced stricter selection rules for the entry from Greece, the number of people arriving in Greece from Turkey immediately went back.”

The border agency sees also two further factors for stemming of the refugees and migrants flows: the presence of NATO’s reconnaissance mission in the Eastern Aegean and the EU Turkey Deal that went into effect on March 20th. Both measures had “probably discouraged more groups of migrants to leave Turkey,” the analysis reads.

However for Greece the problem has not been solved. More than 54,000 refugees and migrants are trapped in the country with only 35,158 of them being in the 41 accommodation centers and hot spots. They have capacity to host 42,929 people.

5 hot spots on 5 islands of the Eastern Aegean

34 reception centers on the mainland

32 centers under UNHRC authority, 1 under Greek Interior Ministry, 5 under other agencies

6,200 people are currently in the old Athens airport Ellinikon and in the port of Piraeus. they have to be evacuated.

Now Greece reportedly prepares the establishment of additional 40 hot spots in the mainland, in Attica and other regions. 13 centers are scheduled to be established as soon as possible.


Green: facilities in operation, Yellow: imminent facilities Blue facilities to be established Red: facilities in reserve (source)

Meanwhile, Greek riot police moved on Monday morning to remove the last estimated 1,500 people who left the camp in Idomeni last month and stay at the EKO Fuel Station nearby. Buses are supposed to take the refugees and migrants to accommodation centers. already 400 Syrian refugees have taken the opportunity.


State ERT TV reported that police detained volunteers of the “Solidarity Movement” in order to prevent obstacles in the flow of transport.

At the same time, the process of per-registration of refugees and migrants seems to finally work, a total of 1,200 people submitted asylum requests in Athens and Thessaloniki during the last 3 days. According to ERT TV, eligible for asylum request submission are refugees who entered Greece 1. January 2015 – 20 March 2016.

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One comment

  1. Frontex is a disgrace to Europe. It is a paramilitary outfit, run much like the Ministry of Public Order — but with pretensions of doing research and providing expertise. It has no comprehension of international law as well as EU law on asylum, and the EU’s obligations to provide protection to refugees are completely ignored. They do the will of the European Commission, which kowtows to the rabid racists of Eastern Europe.
    When the EU collapses — which might start next week — to a large extent it will be because of the inability of EU agencies to obey the rule of law, to provide accounts that are acceptable to the Court of Auditors, as well as the bloated salaries of their senior staff.