EU refuses to send asylum experts to Greek islands


The Express — Greek  islands are allegedly too dangerous for European Union officials after the bloc refused to send asylum experts over – despite their promise to Turkey.

Security in the Greek Aegean Islands, where currently more than 15,000 migrants are being housed, is “extremely unstable” according to the European Council.
Just days ago, about 70 migrants – mostly from Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin – stormed temporary EU offices in Lesbos in an arson attack.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was quickly brought under control, but the offices have been destroyed in the attack.

The EU has demanded Greece work faster to process asylum applications from refugees on the islands, and send rejected candidates back to Turkey.

In turn, the EU has agreed a deal with Turkey that it will receive a funding boost for taking in any rejected migrants.

But processing on the islands has not been going quick enough because, according to local media, the EU has not sent enough asylum experts.

Those already dispatched to the islands, however, “often do not have the required profile” and would only be there for a short time – meaning “frustration and restlessness in the crowded hotspots” continues to grow, and could cause even more violent protests.

Luise Amtsberg, the refugee spokesperson for the Green faction, said: “The conditions on the Greek islands are a shame for Europe.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also hit out at the handling of the Europe migrant crisis, and has blasted the lack of solidarity between EU member states.

He claimed Greece had “taken on the biggest burden,” while other EU countries “closed the borders and built fences at the same time”.

The existing treaties to deal with the refugee crisis “must be respected by all,” said Tsipras, as he called for financial cuts for those members who did not follow migrant quotas.

His comments echo those of Italian prime minster Matteo Renzi, who issued an ultimatum to rebel countries to pull their weight in the migrant crisis or face the financial penalties.

Yesterday it was reiterated by secretary Benedetto Della Vedova, who said: “If you challenge the EU decision on migrants, with or without a referendum, someone will also challenge decisions regarding the budget.”

Hungary’s president Viktor Orban has threatened to sue the EU in defiance against the quotas, following a referendum which overwhelmingly rejected the EU proposals.

Speaking to state radio, he said that if that Commission do not give up the idea of quotas, “then we will resist … we will not carry out (the EU decision), we will sue the Commission”.

He added: “There will be a serious legal debate on whether a foreign population can be imposed on the people of an EU member state against its will.

“This will be a big battle, and for this we need the amended constitution.”