Greece Sends Additional Forces To Turkish Border As Refugee Influx Spikes

Greece has rushed to reinforce its land border with Turkey as fears mount over a sharp rise in the number of refugees and migrants crossing the frontier.

As The Guardian reports, police patrols were augmented as local authorities said the increase in arrivals had become reminiscent of the influx of migrants on the Aegean islands close to the Turkish coast. About 2,900 people crossed the land border in April, by far surpassing the number who arrived by sea, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said. The figure represents half of the total number of crossings during the whole of 2017.

Speaking from the frontier town of Orestiada, the local mayor, Dimitris Mavrides, told the Guardian:

“Our reception facilities are overwhelmed and things are on the verge of spinning out of control. Far more are coming than are actually being registered.

“The government has just sent 120 extra police, but they are temporary and simply not enough. Frontex also has to intervene,” he added, referring to Europe’s border and coastguard agency.

This coincidental spike in refugees from Turkey into Greece comes  as tensions between two NATO member states have escalated dramatically in the last two months - Turkey has threatened to invade Greek islands, Greece has responded, and Greeks now see Turkey as the greatest threat to their existence.

However, The Guardian notes that the abrupt rise reflects a switch in tactics by people smugglers circumventing the controversial agreement the EU struck with Turkey in a bid to stem migration flows at the height of the crisis when more than a million people entered the bloc through Greece.

Under the deal, signed in March 2016, migrants and refugees reaching eastern Aegean islands must remain in situ until asylum requests are processed through a system that is notoriously slow, or face deportation.

The land border does not fall under the agreement and is said to be easier to traverse. “In a boat it can take as little as three minutes to cross and is far cheaper,” said Mavrides.

“They are coming precisely because it is not part of the deal and because word has got out the situation on the islands is dramatic. If they get here and are processed, they are free to go anywhere on the mainland. We have four buses a day to Athens and Thessaloniki and they are full.”

Officials in Greece’s leftist-led government say privately that they are dealing with a timebomb.

Clashes erupted on Lesbos this month between Greek extremists and asylum seekers protesting against their inability to move to the mainland after the country’s highest administrative court said it was illegal to impose geographic restrictions on migrants.

Comments

Mustahattu gladih8r Tue, 05/01/2018 - 09:21 Permalink

There's plenty of politicians in Europe who are on the people's side and anti-Islamic. However no one can do anything unless EU's asylum laws are changed. Since that's not going to happen any time soon the European commission has instead launched a legal case against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in refugees.

If the EU didn't take such legal action there would be a plenty of law firms looking to capitalize on it, and let's not forget "Mr Misery and Sorrow" and his NGOs which are ready to spend tens millions to make sure that Europe is flooded with Africans and Arabs.

Collapse of the EU, or Schengen Agreement, or WW3 are the only ways to resolve the welfare migrant crisis.

In reply to by gladih8r

QueenDratpmurt Tue, 05/01/2018 - 04:53 Permalink

Given that your average Trump voting moron could not find his home town on a map, much less know a fucking thing about Greece or Turkey, I call Trumptard Burgers.

keep the basta… Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:17 Permalink

The Kurds are being pushed out, betrayed by the USA it seems, who had an ersatz alliance and stated they would set up  a combined  border along Turkey, just when peace was being declared so Turkey freaked. Kurds set up and sacrificed.  turkey has  advanced into syria and the  Syrian army is pushing them, now, Iraq  perhaps too, of  necessesity, as their alliance with the USA  has set them counter to syria and the corner USA i sin  bounds Turkey Syria and Iraq and is  important to be free, for those countries.

Previously syria  wanted them as  intermix with syrians  who are of various persuasions. Kurds  were left out in the land break up  post ww2  and were left in no place of their own. Its very sad. The women fought  along with their men. Now they are pushed out of Syria. as I read.

Syria has no choice as the section the US is squatting in is the richest land for  food production and also the oil. Without  this land Syria cannot survive. 

Omen IV keep the basta… Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

The eastern part of the  Euphrates with Oil and Agriculture cannot be separated for Syria to survive - Iraq doesn't want their oil being allocated either to the Kurds - so Iran will favor both and  wants the same as Turkey to eliminate the Kurds

the odd man out is the US which is now only there so Israel gets to keep Gaza oil and whatever else they want

this game is in the final inning

In reply to by keep the basta…

lakabarra Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:35 Permalink

Greece is poor maybe the poorest nation in Europe, why should they take refugees? And why are not all refugeees sent to the US straight away since the US is so interested in all these wars?

Easyp Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:22 Permalink

Erdogan needs more money but Germany not willing to pay another bribe. 

Greece should just open the border with Turkey and run shuttle buses to the Macedonian border and so on and so on until the refugees reach Germany.

HoPewGassed Tue, 05/01/2018 - 06:37 Permalink

" Clashes erupted on Lesbos this month between Greek extremists... "

Yeah, those extremists who resist a slow, rather placid enemy invasion that their government fails to effectively respond to. 

Stef1304 Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:45 Permalink

Went to Patmos, Greece.
It's the island where the Apocalypse was written.
3000 people, 600 children, over 70 churches and monasteries... hundreds of cats and of hand painted icons.
The archaïc orthodox faith there is truly beautiful and strongly connected to the land and its beauty. 
Also what a Beautiful island... 
What contrast, when compared to today modern ugly and unhealthy larges cities.  
And no refugee that I could see (except for a few black people, with a Job and fully integrated).
But also no hospital. 
And the women are leaving the Island to give birth. 
This being said, Patmos for example is not Lesbos where the refugee crisis is real.