As the EU fails to find a coherent solution to the biggest challenge ever faced, Greece is under concerted pressure from European governments to do much more to halt the influx of refugees and migrants from Turkey.
The idea of creating a refugee camp about 400 thousand places in the Greek capital and to ringfence Greece from Schengen area seems to get through both in Brussels and between the countries of Northern Europe. Indeed, the proposal, initially launched by Slovenia last month,urging “direct assistance” to Macedonia to prevent “certain irregular migrants from crossing the Greece-Macedonian border” seems to be backed by Brussels and Berlin. The drastic plan should provide the deployment of EU countries troops in Macedonia on the border with Greece and the ringfence Greece in order to prevent the passage of migrants.
The fragmented nature of the greek boundaries, due to the hundreds of islands which divides the greek territory close to the Turkish coast, makes impossible to stop the flow of refugees. Since the beginning of the year 67 thousand people have entered Europe ( were 800 thousand in 2015 ) via Greece (ten million inhabitants ) and there is no sign of a slowdown of flows. The migration crisis has taken on new urgency because of the failure of most previous measures agreed by the EU, including the Turkey agreement and a plan to create processing centres in Greece and Italy that could then relocate 160,000 refugees across the EU.
In the meantime Macedonia erects second barrier of razor wire to stem the human tide from Greece with the aim to stop the endless stream of migrants from Turkey penetrates smoothly in Greece and then through Macedonia ( non EU member), it proceeds through the Balkans towards Europe. More than 68,000 refugees have been registered entering Macedonia since the beginning of the year, and police say they stopped about 4,000 people trying to cross illegally in January alone. Recently Macedonia has intermittently closed the border to refugees and it is now allowing across only those wishing to go to Germany or Austria, following similar decisions further along the migrant trail.
Today, the ambassadors of the 28 gathered in the so-called Coreper should approve the Council recommendations based on the evaluation of the Schengen system that give to Greece three months, according to the provisions of Article 19.a of the Schengen Code , to meet Schengen obligations. In addition, the Recommendation states that when the three-month deadline expires, article 26 can be activated, extending by two years controls over certain parts of the border. If Greece will comply, European sources said, the second phase will not kick off.
The formal adoption of the recommendation is part of ‘point A’, or ‘without discussion’ at the Ecofin Council scheduled on Friday and the three months available for Greece will be calculated starting that day.