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Greeks angered and humiliated after German decision to suspend Schengen at airports

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.

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  1. I do not understand the anger, really. Fact is: The borders of Greece are open towards an influx of people of – first of all – unknown background and origin. Why would Germany (late, but better late than never) not be eligible to control it’s borders? Why would you write “Germany claims, that more than 1000”, why can it not be true?

    And yes: Also Germans with German passport are controlled at the border. My husband just flew sunday.

    Third: Flights from Greece to Germany did have passport controls for more than three, four years now. I have been checked almost every time in Munich for example, directly after deboarding. So, what the fuzz?

    • not true even last year I flew to Germany with my ID and was never checked, just waved through.
      Why should Germany be an exception? “Why would Germany (late, but better late than never) not be eligible to control it’s borders?” Every EU member state should do this, Greece as well for incoming foreigners.

  2. Martin Baldwin-Edwards

    Germany is not an exception. I have travelled in the past from Athens to Brussels and several times noticed that all Greek passengers were directed to a separate queue on arrival. Out of professional curiousity, I lingered nearby to see what was going on. They were particularly focused on old taftotita cards and lack of proper ID on them; also on persons who looked more dark-skinned than the average Greek.

    As I have posted here before, this is all the fault of the Greek state for not providing adequate security for its ID cards, including residence permits for third country nationals. I do not know how secure the Greek passport is, but presumably the Germans are getting nervous about these too.

  3. Hopefully by then the EU will dissolve. It does no favors then for foreign tourists. If I want to spend 90 days in Greece and then days to follow directly in Bulgaria I can’t. Solution: END THE EUROPEAN UNION! Stop the madness! National sovereignty matters.

  4. KTG: I would be careful with “not true” about the passport checking, since it happened to me and my husband frequently. And if you confirm, that Germany does have the right to protect it’s borders – why then the anger at all?

  5. It’s time the European Union was renamed the German Union. Germany’s attitude to Greece in both the financial crisis and in the migrant crisis clearly shows that Germany doesn’t want a union of equals, it still wants a Greater Germany. Our fathers and grandfathers died in two world wars to prevent their previous attempts and Brexit is a direct result of German domination of the EU. If we have to fight them again you can be certain that we will.

  6. @Tony…

    Better read up on the history of WW1.
    It was not a war started by Germany. It was a war started by the Serbs… who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinant (and a treaty between Austria and Germany (Just like NATO) obligated Germany to assist Austria).
    Basic history vs fake opinions (yours).

    “A group of six assassins (Cvjetko Popović, Gavrilo Princip, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež, Vaso Čubrilović) from the Yugoslavist group Mlada Bosna, supplied by the Serbian Black Hand, had gathered on the street where the Archduke’s motorcade would pass, with the intention of assassinating him. Čabrinović threw a grenade at the car, but missed. Some nearby were injured by the blast, but Ferdinand’s convoy carried on. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them.

    About an hour later, when Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital with those wounded in the assassination attempt, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Princip stood. With a pistol, Princip shot and killed Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.”

    Anyway. I’m Dutch. My passport is checked every time I enter AND leave The Netherlands via an airport. This has nothing to do with Greeks, Germany or any other biased viewpoint.
    It has everything to do with refuguees and terrorists. But nothing with Greeks or Greece.

    I understand the “Anti German” sentiments, but saying Germany wants a Great Germany is absolutely wrong.

    • “It has everything to do with refuguees and terrorists. But nothing with Greeks or Greece.” a. Frontex and NATO ships cruise in the Aegean enjoying sun and fun instead of safeguarding EU’s external borders. b. majority of terrorists (France, Belgium etc) were not even ‘terrorists pretended to be refugees’ but citizens of these countries.

  7. In Amsterdam a few years back, I heard the authoritiies at passport control joking about the older style Greek ID card and asked the passenger if he made it himself. Although a joke, it was kind of rude. It’s not the passenger’s fault.

  8. The number of migrants that people smugglers try to bring into Germany from Greece with faked IDs/passports has risen sharply in the last few months, so of course there is more scrutiny. If those people came via plane from any other EU country, they would be checked too.

  9. To Gaby: If you cannot understand the anger then you are senseless. Because what is happening is paranoid.
    First Merkel let 1.000.000 persons without passports and without any control to enter Germany coming in their majority from muslim countries fanatic with Islam stupidity. From countries that have as custom “Bacha bazzi” (means rape small boys and there were many attempts in german pools and other places) and “taharrus jamai” (means massive sexual attack to women, big example Cologne Newyearseve 2016).
    From countries that born terrorists and rapists and since they have arrived Germany stopped to be secure.
    So first she invite dangerous people in her country to enter with no control and after she decides to check greeks? It is like she invite cancer and after afraid of the flu..

  10. Vassilis Manoussos

    The controls are not directed to Greeks per se but flights from Greece. And this is a legitimate decision given the fact that Greece (and I know as I am Greek) is not in a position to control its borders and the boarding on flights of people with fake credentials.

    People in Greece should read a bit of news from outside Greece before forming opinions. We all know how Greek media work… and although there are biases everywhere, in Greeces they are way to much for a country that wants to be in the EU in the 21st century.