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GreekReporter.comGreeceEU Places Rapid Border Intervention Team on Greek-Turkish Border

EU Places Rapid Border Intervention Team on Greek-Turkish Border

European Justice Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will visit the the Greek-Turkish border tomorrow.  Starting on Tuesday, EU “Rapid Border Intervention Team” began to operate and are coordinated by Frontex. This is the first time that the “Rapid Border Intervention Team” (RABIT) mission has been used, after a request made by Greece on October 24th. The area of intervention is a 12.5km strip close to the Greek city of Orestiada, which has seen a spike in illegal immigration from Turkey in recent weeks. The goal of the EU mission, which includes 175 specialised border patrol officers, does not only aim to improve surveillance, but also to provide: “support activity according to onsite needs and the specialisation of the personnel,” explained Commissioner Malmstrom’s spokesperson, Michele Cercone. A meeting with the Turkish authorities has not been scheduled to take place during the visit. “At this time no contacts with Turkish officials are scheduled. This is a visit that will allow the commissioner to get an idea about the mission directly on the ground”, stated Cercone.  According to Frontex, 90% of illegal entries into Europe take place through Greece.   According to local authoritities, in the first half of 2010 there were 45,000 illegal entries.

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