As Greek islands struggle with migrant crisis EU calls for border controls to be lifted

As Greek islands struggle with migrant crisis EU calls for border controls to be lifted 1

As Greek islands struggle with migrant crisis EU calls for border controls to be lifted 2

The European Commission called for border controls to be imposed within the passport-free Schengen area because of the migrant crisis to be lifted by November, just as Greece and particularly its islands struggle with the illegal flow of migrants and refugees.

Although a deal signed in March last year between Turkey and the EU has curbed human trafficking across the Aegean, many of Greece’s islands are still struggling to shelter thousands of migrants with another 116 arrivals on the island of Chios between Monday and Tuesday morning.

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and non-European Union member Norway introduced the controls in 2015 and have been permitted to extend them repeatedly.

“The time has come to take the last concrete steps to gradually return to a normal functioning of the Schengen area,” European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters.

However the situation on Greek islands continues to be volatile with reports of frequent outbreaks of violence between ethnic groups.

UNICEF and the Children’s Ombudsman gave a joint press conference on Tuesday, noting that 700 out of around 2,000 unaccompanied minors currently in Greece live outside migrant reception centres.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.