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Germany "quarantines" flight passengers from Greece

Featured Germany "quarantines" flight passengers from Greece

The issue of "quarantines" for Greek passengers at the airports of Germany has been growing and has now reached Brussels.

Indeed, the issue will be discussed today at a tripartite meeting by experts from Greece, Germany and the EU Commission, in a bid to find a solution.

Restoring border controls to Greek citizens is causing great inconvenience to those arriving by air to Germany after Berlin decided to treat Greece as a de facto non-Schengen country. It is indicative that a German federal police official told Deutsche Welle that "we face flights from Greece as if they were from Turkey or Egypt".

Increased checks at airports are linked to the start of the festive season and the setting up of traditional Christmas markets in all German cities that could be targeted by jihadists.

The German Interior Ministry says migrants are attempting to get to Germay with fake documents showing that they are Greek nationals. It is indicative that "in the context of random checks carried out on flights from Greece between January and October 2017, there were 1,000 irregular entries, which means an average of 100 irregular entries per month".

"This figure is exponentialy larger when compared to the equivalent number of all other flights from EU countries," sources from the German Ministry of Interior told DW.

Early in October, Germany had informed the Commission of the six-month reintroduction of border controls, but also that it would include Greece. The reason was internal security issues, as there are fears of entry into the territory of irregular migrants. Nevertheless, however, passengers were never informed, although Athens was reportedly aware of the issue.

The measures, which came into force on 12 November for another 6 months, are limited to the German-Austrian land borders and arrivals from Greece to German airports, the German ministry explains. "The decision was taken in cooperation with the interior ministries of Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The European Commission, the European Council, the President of the European Parliament and the Home Affairs Ministers of all Schengen member states have been briefed on the memorandum," explains Berlin and insists that it is in close and permanent contact with Greece. Meanwhile, Greek authorities report that since the controls were placed, from November 12 until this week, out of a total of 33,000 passengers, 20 people were arrested.

The Greek Foreign Ministry proceeded to a demarche, saying that the "quarantine" does not only concern Greece, but Austria as well as the Scandinavian countries. For his part, deputy minister for Immigration Policy Yannis Balafas said he did not know the subject speaking to SKAI television. For its part, New Democracy stated that German practice is offensive for the Greeks, and can not be accepted, calling for direct government intervention.