The Greek government has said its country will take back 1,500 asylum seekers from Germany. Berlin also intends to rank the Maghreb countries among the “safe” countries to accelerate expulsions of migrants from this region.
Demonstration of the turn of the German migration policy, wanted by the Ministry of the Interior Horst Seehofer ? “In the first half of 2018, there were 1,500 applications [of asylum seekers arriving in Europe from Greece] by Germany, they will be accepted,” said Dimitris Vitsas, Greek Minister for Education, on 18 July. Migration Policy, July 18 at a press conference. In other words, Greece will take back 1,500 asylum seekers from Germany.
Agreements have been made between the two countries, as well as with Spain, at the European summit on migration management at the end of June. These provide for the resumption by Spain and Greece of asylum seekers arrested at the German-Austrian border, only if these migrants have already been registered in the European databases EURODAC.
Pacts between EU states must help “to find a single European solution for the settlement of migration flows and limit unilateral acts”, Dimitris Vitsas also underlined, while dissensions between Europeans remain about the reception migrants.
In exchange for taking over the first returned migrants, Berlin has promised Athens to accept 2,900 applicants for family reunification, according to the Greek minister. Germany has already accepted 2,000 of these requests.
Greece is still struggling to support some 60,000 migrants and refugees stranded on its territory since the great migratory wave that began in 2015.
Germany wants to accelerate deportations of Maghreb migrants
The same day, in Germany, the German Council of Ministers adopted a bill to qualify Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Georgia as “safe countries”. A similar bill was rejected last year by the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, for lack of a majority because of opposition from the Greens and hard left Die Linke.
In concrete terms, the government wants to include these three Maghreb countries and the former Soviet republic on its list of so-called “safe” countries, as is already the case for the non-EU countries of the Balkans, which would allow immigration services to almost automatically reject the asylum applications of their nationals, without even having to justify these refusals.
Berlin justifies this decision by the fact that asylum applications from these countries are already rejected more than 99% for Georgia and Algeria. Only 2.7% of Tunisian asylum applications and 4.1% of Moroccan requests received a positive response from the German authorities in 2017.