Frontex & Greece Reach New Agreement to Further Support Return of Migrants


The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) Executive Director, Hans Leijtens, together with the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, as well as Minister of Citizens’ Protection, Panagiotis Theodorikakos have reached an agreement on a common plan that would further expand the agency’s support to return migrants to their home countries.

Following the new plan, Frontex will assist in establishing working relations with countries outside the European Union and further support the Hellenic Republic in the identification as well as counselling of migrants in order to inform them regarding the possibilities to return voluntarily to their home countries, reports.

Leijtens considered that returns are an important part of the border’s management, thus adding that he is proud that they can provide further support to the Hellenic Republic in this area.

Frontex’ Executive Director comments came during his visit to Greece while the operational support provided by the agency with the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis, and the Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Alexandrakis Georgios, will also be discussed.

“Frontex assists Greece with joint operation Poseidon. There are currently 518 standing corps officers and staff working in Greece, both on the mainland and on the islands in the Aegean. The agency also deploys 11 boats and 30 patrol cars, as well as other equipment, at Greece’s external borders,” the statement reads.

Authorities in Greece are continuously facing an influx of migrants who attempt to reach the country in an unlawful way.

The Minister of Protection of Greek Citizens, Takis Theodorikakos, previously confirmed that the country’s police officials caught a total of 154,102 illegal immigrants from reaching this territory for a period from January until September last year.

Still, through a statement, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum of Greece announced that in the last three and a half years, authorities in Greece managed to reduce the migrant flows and improve working and living conditions for the country’s staff and asylum seekers and also reduce the impact of the crisis on local communities.

Authorities in Greece have been accused several times of violations and mistreatment of migrants.

Recently, a report provided by El Pais said that the Hellenic Republic authorities were accused of stealing over €2.2 million in cash as well as goods from refugees and migrants during the alleged pushbacks of migrants along the Turkish border in the last six years.

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