Today the Greek Government requested from FRONTEX -the EU Agency for the Management of the Operational Cooperation at the External Borders, for the deployment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams. This request is for assistance to Greece in controlling its external land border with Turkey.
Recently the number of irregular migrants crossing the border has steadily increased, particularly at the 12.5 kilometres stretch near the Greek town of Orestiada.
The Rapid Border Intervention Teams was created in 2007 and is activated today for the first time. This mechanism aims to provide rapid operational assistance to member states that are facing a situation of urgent and exceptional pressure at points of its external borders, due to large numbers of third country nationals trying to enter in an irregular way on the territory. The Teams are coordinated by FRONTEX and will be deployed at the external border. They will ensure mutual assistance between member states of the European Union; they will act under the authority of Greece and will be in place for a limited period of time.
Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stated: “The situation at the Greek land border with Turkey is increasingly worrying. The flows of people crossing the border irregularly have reached alarming proportions and Greece is manifestly not able to face this situation alone. I am very concerned about the humanitarian situation. I trust that proper assistance will be given to all person crossing the border and that the request for international protection will be considered, in full compliance with EU and international standards.”
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