The Greek government has asked Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, to guard Greece’s northern borders in a request filed in September, Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday, confirming a report by German magazine “Der Spiegel”.
“Yes, of course it is true and I’m surprised this issue resurfaced. Already from September we had invited Frontex and the organization, based on plans of the European Union, as it does in other countries, is operating at the northern borders and the borders with Albania to diminish secondary [refugee] flows,” the minister said, responding to a question on the validity of the report.
“Der Spiegel” reported that Frontex plans to deploy forces for the first time since the migration crisis started in Greece’s border with FYROM.
Mouzalas said this request was made as part of the effort “to avoid secondary flows – that is illegal movements of refugees towards other countries”, adding this has “nothing to do” with the EU-Turkey deal.
“The Greek government is trying to increase legal relocation towards Europe and we have no mood or intention to facilitate illegal migration,” he continued.
“This is how we refute the lies told by the Visegrad countries and Austria, which are spread by some sources [and claim] that more than 700 people per day cross the border illegally. This has stopped.”