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EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby repulsewarrior » Sat May 14, 2016 5:45 am

...here is Islam at its best; building fences, for them.

As though a fence will solve their problems, suddenly Austrian the people of Austria (and the list can go on), not European, nor Human as beings.

They would build fences, than be shamed like the Greek Government as deficient "protecting" borders, or as a people. They would build fences, rather than face their own fear, whether "they" are able to demonstrate the same kindness that they would expect when in need.

...i ask, since Greece can be found so easily to be "deficient", can we compare these deficiencies to the other EU members having external borders? Who is most deficient, in what regard? And in that regard, how does Greece compare?
Such an exploration may be educational, it would certainly appear a lot less, like Greece bashing.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Sat May 14, 2016 6:13 am

repulsewarrior wrote:..And in that regard, how does Greece compare? ...


There is no comparison, RW.

I don't think there is another country of only 10 million (impoverished) people that has received such an influx of some million people in such a short space of time. Italy are a 60 million population and have received fewer.

There are bad politics going on here, RW. The EU knew about the arrival of this problem, in advance, it was invited. The EU was supposed to have prepared for it by introducing Frontex at the external borders (some years ago now). Indeed, Frontex has been there (Greece) for several years. It follows, any deficiencies are with the EU's management of this problem. But Frontex has been hidden from responsibility (cowering behind Greece) - it has, though, more recently been taken to task about its lack of accountability. Frontex's role is now changing: it's being supported by bigger Agencies and Forces (because it was deficient) - but meanwhile the opportunists want to squeeze as much blame out of Greece as possible to hide their real, own deficiencies.

The migrants have been used as pawns, by Turkey, and for ammunition in a stealth attack, a proxy war against Greece ... and the integrity of the EU. The selfish players (in turn, Poland, Austria etc) have revealed themselves.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby erolz66 » Sat May 14, 2016 10:56 am

repulsewarrior wrote: ...i ask, since Greece can be found so easily to be "deficient", can we compare these deficiencies to the other EU members having external borders? Who is most deficient, in what regard? And in that regard, how does Greece compare?
Such an exploration may be educational, it would certainly appear a lot less, like Greece bashing.


RW the Schengen Evaluation mechanism, in law and as agreed and passed into law by the EU, evaluates all members states. Whilst the evaluation reports on individual countries themselves are not public, the conclusions and results of these reports are public. You can see what the conclusions of such evaluations carried out in Austria, Belgium, Poland and Sweden concluded and what was done as a result of those conclusions. You will be able to see what they concluded about other states once such evaluations have been made in other states.

The FACT remains that of all those countries that have been subject to such evaluations to date Greece is the only one so far to have found to be 'seriously deficient'. You may consider pointing out this fact to be 'Greek Bashing' but the reality is this has only gone on for as long as it has in the face of GiG's relentless denial of this reality. In a sane world it would be pointed out that Greece had found in an evaluation report to be seriously neglecting it obligations, those who wished would have made their rational arguments along the lines of 'so what or any country in same position would have been so found or the evaluation is just plain wrong or such failings were an inevitable consequence of the economic situation in Greece forced on it by the EU' and that would have been the end of it. It is the relentless attempts by GiG to deny reality and claim that Greece was not found by the EU to seriously neglecting it's obligations re boarder management, that has driven the four months of it being shown over and over and over again that the EU DID find this. That to me is not 'Greek Bashing' - it is denial of reality / GiG bashing and is 'justified' in light of the fact (I claim) that this is what GiG does and always has done here on this forum.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby repulsewarrior » Sat May 14, 2016 6:26 pm

...i am suspect about the EU itself. It is not the first time where their own lack of procedure has been revealed to be a problem's root.

Consider, checks are done on a regular basis, so too audits, and yet over years a problem like this has grown to be "seriously deficient".

The Billions the EU is paying to Turkey, now, could have been spent to Europe's advantage, years ago, because it was obvious, years ago, that the external borders, of Europe, were porous to migrants; only until the migrants became a "migrant crisis", was the issue in reaction, attended to, by the EU. While it is the EU who may place blame, the EU is not blameless.

...and while Greece is not an example of organisation and protocol, it does represent the Principals of Europe rather well. And while Greece seems thoroughly deficient politically speaking, it has not turned its back on those most in need.

...does the EU evaluate itself? Are these evaluations made public?
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby erolz66 » Sat May 14, 2016 7:33 pm

repulsewarrior wrote:...i am suspect about the EU itself. It is not the first time where their own lack of procedure has been revealed to be a problem's root.


It is perfectly possible that EU federal agencies and responses have been deficient AND Greece has also been so. The idea that if any EU federal agency has in any way been deificent in it's response to the migration crisis this proves that Greece could not have been is the bogus logic of GIG. I expected better from you RW.

repulsewarrior wrote:The Billions the EU is paying to Turkey, now, could have been spent to Europe's advantage, years ago, because it was obvious, years ago, that the external borders, of Europe, were porous to migrants; only until the migrants became a "migrant crisis", was the issue in reaction, attended to, by the EU.


Why so binary and zero sum RW ? Again I expected better from you RW. This idea that the money being paid to Turkey is for the benefit of Turkey alone is ludicrous to me. The objective of the deal with Turkey is to benefit the EU, with Greece at the forefront of this benefit. All evidence so far is that the deal has reduced migration from Turkey to the EU via Greece by a massive amount. If this deal collapse and the migrant numbers arriving in Greece from Turkey go back to 2015 levels this will be a disaster for Greece more than any other EU country, for where as in 2015 the 800,000 or so that arrived could and did pass through Greece to other EU states, now in 2016 they are no able to do that and will end up camped IN Greece.

Also this idea that the EU has not helped Greece to try and deal with the crisis at all financially is not born out by actual facts imo. Direct extra financial aid to Greece specifically to deal with migration crisis from the EU in the last few years is in the region of .5 billion euros. When you add in the cost of 'indirect aid' - like the strengthening of Frontex, use of NATO, unilateral removal of Dublin agreement by states like Germany and others and all the rest billions of assistance has gone to help Greece deal with this crisis. That is a Greece of 11 million population that in 2015 had 800,000 migrants pass through Greece to other EU countries and which gave permanent refugees status to a few thousands to remain in Greece vs 3 billion to Turkey population of 70 million that in 2015 had 800,000 migrants pass through Turkey to EU countries and which gave refugees status top a further 2.5 million refugees to remain in Turkey and that then did not pass through it on the way to EU.

repulsewarrior wrote:While it is the EU who may place blame, the EU is not blameless.


No where have I said the EU is without fault in it's handling of the crisis. My four moths of argument with GiG have been about her incessant relentless attempts to try and claim the EU did not find Greece to be seriously neglecting it's obligations, when patently it did find such. That the EU itself may also carry blame does not make her denial of reality any less of a denial of reality. I have no argument with those that claim that the EU assessment was wrong, or that any country in Greece's position would find themselves in the same position or that such failings were a result of the EU economic water boarding of Greece. I have no argument with such claims because they are rational expressions of someone's opinion. What I do have an 'argument' with is the attempts to deny the EU found that Greece was seriously neglecting its obligations - because such is just a denial of actual reality. When such denial comes from GiG, with all her relentless distortions and ad hominem attacks and all the rest I will challenge that because this is what GiG does here on these forums and what she has always done here.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby repulsewarrior » Sat May 14, 2016 11:02 pm

I have not claimed that Greece is not "deficient", I have given this deficiency a scope. GIG's reactions to your comments are, it seems to me, more of a personal nature; you both have strong notions of who and what you are politically, I won't answer to that. What with the hoopla of the migrant crisis, one would have expected more help, years sooner (in this case) actually, and a better foresight from the EU, it is after all its raison d'etre, with its margins of scale.

We do not disagree, erolz, i have taken no side whatsoever, what i am suggesting is that, if we are to have this conversation, it would be nice to compare Greece to the other Countries who have had to act directly; what is neglectful? If we are to learn anything, with the capacity you guys have for the details, the research, etc., the conversation can be more enriching, if the focus is the issue, rather than a single contributors efforts to dissuade the readers from accepting your position. It would not surprise me as i've said before, that Greece is bad, as in not having met a commitment to follow rules, it is not alone in that regard, and in singling it out, here, there is no real benefit, to us, or to Europe, or to the victims who remain homeless and wanting. The facts, compose an image far more complex, one which may be far more revealing as to how Greece (and Europe) came into the position it is (they are) in today.

Furthermore, i find it very revealing, that the migration to Greece stopped so suddenly; don't you?

Indeed, i am trying to add balance, food for thought; your side of this topic and GIG's, are not a zero sum either.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby supporttheunderdog » Thu May 19, 2016 5:08 pm

Thank your for your balanced response where at least recognize you that Greece might be breaking the Rules, which the EU believe she has, in certain specific respects.

Migration to Greece stopped for a variety of reasons, where we must remember that Greece was but a stepping stone and as the EU recorded - see

(13) The Hellenic Republic has made significant progress in addressing many of the deficiencies in its external border management identified during the November 2015 evaluation. Moreover, the initial implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016 8, together with the on-going operations by Frontex and NATO, have led to a sharp decrease in the number of irregular migrants and asylum seekers crossing from Turkey into the Hellenic Republic. This substantial reduction in the flow of irregular migrants and asylum seekers to the Hellenic Republic, together with the support provided by EU Agencies and other Member States in the hotspots, has enabled the Hellenic Republic to significantly improve the registration of newly arriving irregular migrants and asylum seekers. The sustainability of the substantial reduction of the migratory flow needs to be confirmed.

(14) Despite this significant progress, not all of the serious deficiencies identified could be adequately and comprehensively addressed within the three months' time limit laid down in Article 21(3) of Regulation (EU) 2016/399. Some of the serious deficiencies in external border control persist, and they put at risk the overall functioning of the area without internal border control. In particular, structural deficiencies in external border control related to the overall border management system, border surveillance and situational awareness, have not been remedied yet. Moreover, a number of persons who stay irregularly on the territory of the Hellenic Republic have not been registered and may seek to move irregularly to other Member States. This risk of secondary movements is particularly high for those irregular migrants who are not accommodated in adequate reception facilities. Finally, while the Council recommended that the Hellenic Republic should take appropriate measures to ensure that at all its external borders, external border control is carried out and brought in line with the Schengen Acquis, border surveillance at the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is currently not fully compliant with the Schengen Borders Code. This adds to the risk of secondary movements of migrants to other Member States. http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-8835-2016-INIT/en/pdf

As the BBC travelogue/documentary showed, in an interview with some who had used the Aegean route, it was popular because it was so uncontrolled with lack of any sort of passport or similar border control. Once in Greece the arrivals could get nearly anywhere in the Schengen Zone. That stopped.
Firstly under the influence of the EU and by implementing many of the 50 recommendations the border is now not so open. People are being stopped and checked and held while being checked.
Secondly the Northern borders, on the routes to the rich north, have been shut. That leaves the irregular migrants in Greece trapped.
Beyond that other borders are now shut. I suspect that since they did not want to go to Greece as a destination and with less hope of getting where they want to go many have changed plans. The news they might be sent back to Turkey might also act as discouragement: why spend thousands to get sent back to the start point? In general terms the route is now less attractive.

However as the EU has said,
The sustainability of the substantial reduction of the migratory flow needs to be confirmed.
and with a possible collapse of the EUI/Turkey accord, Turkey might relax controls and refuse return of irregular migrants who do not qualify as refugees.

These are further specific points commented upon bu the EU about serious deficiencies
The national border management system of the Hellenic Republic presently does not yet have the required operational and administrative capacities to manage external borders according to the standards of the Schengen Borders Code, although work is in progress to establish these capacities. In particular, some core functions, e.g. risk analysis, are presently not implemented in full and the approach to border management is fragmented. Not all the national capacities suitable for border
surveillance (Army, Navy) are fully used by the Hellenic Republic.

These are unique to Greece and it is very much up to Greece to properly organise its state entities to use for best advantage.

Gig has also consistently sought to underplay the role of Greece, where under EC2007/2004 Greece had primary responsibility for border management and Frontex's mandate is limited to a practical supporting role, with the responsibility for the control and surveillance of external borders lying with the Member States. Indeed while Frontex has responsibility for the actions defined by its mandate, (which is it limited to a supporting role) it cannot be held answerable for the Member States' obligations, as clearly defined by the legislator in EG EU Regulation EC2007/2004 as amended, and where even the amendments refer to the primary role of the Member States, and where guest officers arranged by FRONTEX from other member states are involved, under Article 10(3) of the Frontex Regulation the guest officers act under instructions of the host Member State, not Frontex.

I must admit to being surprised that some limited controls were not applied to eg the Cross Adriatic ferry routes from Greece to Italy, but not disappointed they were not. The EU in its wisdom has decided to allow more distant controls. I hope they are effective.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby GreekIslandGirl » Thu May 19, 2016 11:20 pm

supporttheunderdog wrote:The EU in its wisdom has decided to allow more distant controls. I hope they are effective.


You mean .... the EU has the ultimate say in "allowance" ...... but bears none of the responsibility?

Oh .... what logic! :roll:
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby supporttheunderdog » Fri May 20, 2016 7:52 am

GreekIslandGirl wrote:
supporttheunderdog wrote:The EU in its wisdom has decided to allow more distant controls. I hope they are effective.


You mean .... the EU has the ultimate say in "allowance" ...... but bears none of the responsibility?

Oh .... what logic! :roll:


Oh but the decision is entirely logical and and if you have understood the situation you should understand that the does not depend on the EU being responsible but then in my firm view logic and understanding are not your strong points.
The starting point is this
An unannounced visit was carried out in November to the Greek-Turkish land border as well as to the sea border (Chios and Samos). Additional efforts are required with regard to the actual return of irregular migrants and prevention of secondary movements.
The conclusions of the two visits are currently being finalised at the expert level. The Commission will continue monitoring the situation closely, including the evolving situation at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The potential for this border to become a source of tension has been intensified including by the erection of border fencing as a border management tool, and the decision by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to follow the decision of other countries and restrict passage on the grounds of nationality or the little engagement in bilateral border-related confidence building measures, although day-to-day contacts between the border administrations have improved. On 3 December an agreement was reached that Frontex will assist Greece with identification and registration of migrants at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Depending on the results of the aforementioned Schengen evaluations, specific measures as referred in Article 19a SBC may be recommended.
Should an evaluated Member State be found to be seriously neglecting its obligations and progress in rectifying the situation is insufficient, the use of Article 26 SBC (as described in section 2.2 of this report) can be invoked that implies reintroducing border control at internal borders where the overall functioning of the Schengen area is put at risk.


and then this
Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "If we want to maintain our internal area of free movement, we must better manage our external borders. This means that we will only save Schengen by applying Schengen. The Commission continuously monitors the implementation of the Schengen rules in all Schengen Member States. The draft Schengen evaluation report on Greece looks at the management of the external border during an evaluation visit of Member States and Commission experts in Greece in November. The report shows that there are serious deficiencies in the management of the external border in Greece. We know that in the meantime Greece has started undertaking efforts towards rectifying and complying with the Schengen rules. Substantial improvements are needed to ensure the proper reception, registration, relocation or return of migrants in order to bring Schengen functioning back to normal, without internal border controls. This is our ultimate common goal."
The draft report – which is not public – is based on unannounced site visits to the Greek-Turkish land border and to Chios and Samos conducted from 10 to 13 November 2015. The report looks at the presence of police and coast guard personnel on the inspected sites, the efficiency of the identification and registration process, sea border surveillance and cooperation with neighbouring countries. Whilst acknowledging that the Greek authorities are under pressure, the report notably finds that there is no effective identification and registration of irregular migrants and that fingerprints are not being systematically entered into the system and travel documents are not being systematically checked for the authenticity or against crucial security databases, such as SIS, Interpol and national databases. On this basis, the draft report concludes that Greece is seriously neglecting its obligations and that there are serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls that must be overcome and dealt with by the Greek authorities.


now we are at this
Under article 29 of the Schengen Borders Code, the Commission may propose a recommendation, to be adopted by the Council by qualified majority, to reintroduce controls at all or specific parts of the border of one or more member states as a matter of last resort. They may be introduced for a period of up to six months. Controls can be prolonged for additional six month periods up to a maximum duration of two years.
Despite significant progress made by Greece, not all of the serious deficiencies identified in the evaluation could be adequately and comprehensively addressed within the three months' limit. Therefore, on 4 May 2016 the Commission considered that the conditions for applying Article 29 of the Schengen Borders Code were fulfilled and submitted a recommendation to the Council to prolong the temporary internal border controls introduced by five Schengen states.


In summary this action by the EU is a response to their finding that where Greece was seriously neglecting its obligations and that there were serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls that had to be overcome and dealt with by the Greek authorities, and where Some of the serious deficiencies in external border control persist, and they put at risk the overall functioning of the area without internal border control, on 4 May 2016 the Commission considered that the conditions for applying Article 29 (article 26 as was in November 15) of the Schengen Borders Code were fulfilled and submitted a recommendation to the Council to prolong the temporary internal border controls introduced by five Schengen states.

It all comes down to Greece "seriously neglecting its obligations" - The EU's words, not mine.
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Re: EU Commission - latest proposals (4th May)

Postby erolz66 » Fri May 20, 2016 8:25 am

GreekIslandGirl wrote:
supporttheunderdog wrote:The EU in its wisdom has decided to allow more distant controls. I hope they are effective.


You mean .... the EU has the ultimate say in "allowance" ...... but bears none of the responsibility?

Oh .... what logic! :roll:


Your 'logic' is no different from

A court has the ultimate say in if to fine or lock up someone who fails to pay their taxes, therefore the court bears responsibility for paying that persons taxes.

That is not logic - that is blatant distortion of reality to suit ones needs. Nothing new there then.
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