“We must not rule out that we will again have to repatriate illegal immigrants and we all must be ready to prevent such entry attempts,” Koumoutsakos said emphasized that “the role of the European shield, which the government has willingly accepted implies a specific policy at the borders.”
The ministers’ attitude was reportedly strongly criticized.
“They are off topic, as if they have been invited to a wedding and they deliver eulogies,” chairman of the Committee and MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar commented ironically.
Frontex chief executive Fabrice Leggeri admitted that in a quick operation at the sea border, the Greek Coast Guard ordered a Danish boat not to board migrants and repatriate them to Turkey. He said that he immediately asked for explanations from Greece. The response he received was that “there was a misunderstanding, someone did not understand the order well!”
EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson was adamant.
“There are reports of deportations of immigrants, which are explicitly prohibited. Pushbacks are illegal and I call on the Greek authorities to investigate them all,” Johansson said in a statement.
“It is responsibility of authorities to monitor the situation…reports have to be investigated & [ Greece] is obliged to follow up…but we also need new proposals to make sure member states monitor the borders the right way,” she said.
There have been several reports of pushbacks by national and international media. The death of the Syrian migrant was investigated and published on Der Spiegel. However, the investigation left some questions open and spoke that the death was “probable” caused by the shooting.
PS Either … or…, Greek authorities should indeed investigate the issues and stop playing the offended, as they rather fall into the Turkish trap that uses such incidents to launch the usual propaganda against Greece.
The European Commission says it may now propose a new system to monitor illegal pushbacks of migrants – amid mounting evidence of abuse by both Croatia and Greece.
Speaking to MEPs on Monday (6 July), the European Commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson said more needs to be done to ensure EU states respect fundamental rights while guarding borders.
“It is time to consider if we also need to put in place a new mechanism to monitor and verify reports of pushbacks,” she said.
No specifics were given – via eurobserver