More and more countries seem to increase security measures for flight passengers arriving from Greece. Following Germany and Italy, strict controls are also imposed by Belgium.
There are several reports that security controls have increased at the airport in Brussels and passengers arriving from Greece have to stand in long queues and undergo strict security checks.
Passengers from Greece are not considered as members of the Schengen area but as if they were arriving from third countries.
It looks even if Belgian, German and Italian authorities fear that terrorists could enter their countries with forged travel documents.
New Democracy MEP Giorgos Kyrtsos had to undergo such airport controls when he arrived in Brussels on Monday and wrote on Twitter:
Συνεχίζεται ο ευρωπαϊκός διασυρμός μας εξαιτίας της αδυναμίας της κυβέρνησης να ελέγξει τα βιομηχανικής κλίμακας κυκλώματα παραγωγής πλαστών ταξιδιωτικών εγγράφων στην Ελλάδα. Χθες είχαμε ελέγχους διαβατηρίων των επιβατών της Aegean και στις Βρυξέλλες, καρδιά της Ε.Ε.
— Γιώργος Κύρτσος (@GiorgosKyrtsos) December 5, 2017
“our European embarrassment is continuing due to the government’s inability to control the industrial-scale production of counterfeit travel documents in Greece. Yesterday we had passport checks for Aegean passengers and in Brussels, the heart of the EU.”
With irony, SYRIZA MEP Sofia Sakorafa commented on the controls in Brussels
Κερδίζει σε αξιοπιστία η Ελλάδα. Μετά τη Γερμανία και το Βέλγιο αγνοεί τη Σένγκεν και μας ελέγχει στις πτήσεις. #Brussels_Airport #Schengen #Gr
— Σοφία Σακοράφα (@SofiaSakorafa) December 4, 2017
“Greece gains credibility. After Germany, also Belgium ignores Schengen and controls us on flights. #Brussels_Airport #Schengen #Gr”
Also independent MEP Notis Marias complained about the “illegal” suspension of Schengen and Brussels airport and said he will submit a relevant question to the European Commission.
Μετά τη γερμανική καραντίνα, τώρα και βελγική καραντίνα στους Έλληνες επιβάτες στα βελγικά αεροδρόμια. Καταγγέλλω τον παράνομο διαβατηριακό έλεγχο πριν λίγο, στο αεροδρόμιο των Βρυξελλών στους επιβάτες της Aegean 622 Αθήνα-Βρυξέλλες. Καταθέτω κατεπείγουσα ερώτηση στην Κομισιόν.
— Notis Marias (@Notis_Marias) December 4, 2017
“After the German quarantine, now Belgian quarantine to Greek passengers at Belgian airports. I denounce the illegal passport control at Brussels Airport to the passengers of Aegean 622 Athens-Brussels. I am submitting an urgent question to the Commission.”
It’s not illegal to have a temporary suspension of Schengen. You’d think an MEP would know EU and Schengen laws. Anyway, this is a long-standing problem with Greek identity documents: you cannot criticise other Schengen countries for imposing border checks on Greece.
Even the formal Schengen rules state clearly that a national ID card may not have a duration exceeding 10 years, yet Greece carried on allowing lifetime taftotites — frequently with an antique photo of a teenage boy to identify a grizened old man of 80 or 90, pasted onto a handmade card falling apart and stamped with purple ink in a language only Greeks can read….