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EU suspends emergency aid to Greek coast guard

Brussels calls for measures against illegal pushbacks by boat people. Interior Minister Nehmer criticizes this approach.

Currently, the EU Commission has refused to provide the Greek Coast Guard with any other emergency aid due to systematic violations of refugee rights. “Greece It has requested additional funds to protect borders, particularly in the Aegean Sea, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson “Spiegel” said according to the advance notification. rights.” For Interior Minister Karl Nehamer (ÖVP), this is a “completely wrong way.”

A working group has been formed, Johansson said in the German news magazine, adding: “I expect progress on this.” Since 2015 European Union Greece According to the report, more than 643 million euros have been paid to deal with the refugee crisis. Part of the money goes directly to the Greek Coast Guard. Spiegel reported, citing its research, that this uses money, among other things, for so-called pushbacks, in which asylum seekers are exposed on orange lifeboats at sea. Even those seeking protection who reached a Greek island such as Lesbos or Samos would be taken out to sea again despite the danger to their lives.

“The challenges facing Greece in protecting the external borders of the European Union are enormous, and the Greek authorities are doing things that are hanging here, often under the most dire circumstances, when you consider the provocations in Turkey last year,” Nahamer explains in a statement. And they will continue to show solidarity with Greece: “The EU commissioner is short-sighted and not in the interest of member states when she cuts money for border protection.”

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before the European Union Commission Greece After granting more help for border protection, the country should introduce an independent monitoring mechanism according to the report. He must ensure that reports of returns are at least seriously investigated.

The group’s rapporteur in the EU Parliament studying the EU’s border protection agency, Tineke Strik, welcomed the EU Commission’s decision. “We have always been pushing for financial support from the European Union to be dependent on the rule of law on the part of the border guards,” she told Spiegel. “This is a first step in the right direction.” Nahamer, who demands unconditional support and asserts that this “needs further strengthening”, sees the matter differently, “especially against the background of recent developments in Afghanistan” and says: reprimanding member states that have been burdened for years is a completely wrong approach.

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