Athens, March 24, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
EU states but also those in the Schengen area – Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstain – so far have made available just 396 officers from the 1500 FRONTEX asked to help Greece manage the migration crisis, as was announced by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the EU Member States.
“After the request that was addressed by FRONTEX on Friday, the member states have offered so far 396 policemen from the 1,500 requested. FRONTEX has also had offers that bring to 47 the readmission specialist officers (refugees and immigrants), from the 50 that were requested by the Agency”, said the Executive Director of the Agency, Fabrice Leggeri.
“I urge other member states to send even more police officers to support the readmission to Turkey, as was agreed by the European Council”, he insisted.
According to FRONTEX spokeswoman Ewa Moncure, this personnel is part of the 4,000 European civil servants who are to be utilised to implement the EU-Turkey Agreement, which was concluded last week and was formally entered into force on Sunday.
“It is important to underline that FRONTEX can redirects persons only after the Greek authorities have thoroughly analyze each case (refugee or immigrant) and has taken the final decision to send them back”, Leggeri said.
Last week, the Leggeri had decided to extend to May 31 the Poseidon operation.
Thirteen ships, two helicopters and 734 of FRONTEX staff are involved in this rescue operation of refugees and migrants who attempt the crossing of the Mediterranean.