Europe has announced plans to possibly shut all borders with Greece over the countries repeated failure to control refugees at the Greek borders which has led to a Europe-wide migrant crisis.
According to an EU executive report, Greece has lost control of its own borders leading to uncontrolled and unaccounted for immigration across the rest of Europe.
European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told a news briefing “Greece seriously neglected its obligations and that there are serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border control that must be overcome … by the Greek authorities“.
Sky News reports:
The report could see temporary border controls recently introduced between some free-travel Schengen countries extended for up to two years.
It comes as Greece’s migration minister says his country is seeking EU backing for the swift deportation of migrants not considered eligible for asylum from Greek islands back to Turkey.
Ioannis Mouzalas said that EU-supervised screening centres set up on the Greeks islands could be used to send back ineligible migrants to Turkey “the next morning”.
Greek authorities say seven bodies, including those of two children, were recovered from the sea off the island of Kos after a boat carrying migrants or refugees sank.
Three men, two women, a boy and a girl were pulled dead from the water. Only a man and a woman survived.
A search and rescue operation by the Greek coast guard and the European border patrol agency Frontex, a helicopter and Greek rescue volunteers was called off after all on board the boat were accounted for.
Meanwhile, Germany is poised to give the go-ahead for measures to make it easier to deport foreign criminals, a plan drawn up following outrage over New Year’s Eve assaults in Cologne committed mostly by migrants.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the proposal approved by the German Cabinet, but yet to be passed by Parliament, was in the interest of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding migrants in Germany.
“They do not deserve to be lumped together with criminals,” he said.
More than one million migrants and refugees entered Europe last year, according the International Organisation for Migration; a four-fold increase compared to 2014.