Germany To Start Returning Migrants to Greece As Of March
Germany will begin to return asylum-seeking refugees to Greece as of March, announced a spokesperson of the Interior Ministry, reported BGNES.
According to the Dublin Regulation, persons seeking asylum must apply in the first EU member-state which they have entered. Most often these states are Greece and Italy.
If asylum-seekers have reached another country in the EU, they have to be returned to the first country where they entered the territory of the union.
Until now, this requirement was not valid with respect to Greece due to bad conditions there.
The spokesperson announced that the returning of migrants will start on March 15. On December 8, the EU recommended to member-states to begin returning migrants back to Greece as of March after these transfers were halted in 2011.
Germany’s decision to open its doors to Syrian refugees in 2015 and, in practice, revoke the Dublin regulation with respect to them, led to an influx of 890,000 people by the end of that year.
Gradually, the government in Berlin began to look for ways to limit the number of arrivals.
In 2016, there were 280,000 migrants, mainly due to the closing of the Balkan route and the fragile agreement between the EU and Turkey.
The beginning of the transfers of migrants back to Greece will reduce additionally the number of arrivals which is favourable on the eve of parliamentary elections in Germany in September, reported BGNES.
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