Greece filed a request with Frontex and the European Commission for the immediate return of 519 migrants to their countries of origin, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Friday.
In a follow-up request for the return to Turkey of 1,450 migrants living in hotspots on the Aegean Islands, the Greek government also requested the 519 be returned to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Egypt, Algeria, Iran and another 20 countries.
The 519 live in pre-departure centres on mainland Greece, and their asylum applications have also been turned down.
Mitarachi announced the request to the EU’s border service Frontex and the Commission.
He explained that border countries like Greece expect the new EU migration and asylum agreement to provide “a powerful mechanism and the necessary legal framework for expulsions and returns.”