• Germany's news in English
Germany: send asylum seekers back to Greece
Migrants outside a camp in Lesvos, Greece, after unrest there caused many to flee. Photo: DPA

Germany: send asylum seekers back to Greece

AFP · 3 Oct 2016, 10:21

Published: 03 Oct 2016 10:21 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Asylum seekers who enter the European Union through Greece should be sent back there, Germany's interior minister has said.
Thomas de Maziere told a Greek paper on Sunday that the he wanted to reinstate EU rules under which asylum seekers are returned to the first EU country they reach. He also argued that Greece should send more people back to Turkey.
"I would like the Dublin convention to be applied again... we will take up discussions on this in a meeting with (EU) interior ministers" later in October, he told the Greek daily Kathimerini.
The Dublin accord gives responsibility for asylum seekers' application to the first country they reach – which put Greece on the frontline of more than a million migrants who arrived in the EU last year.
The accord also says asylum seekers should be sent back to the first country they arrived in if they subsequently reach another EU state before their case is examined. A huge proportion of the migrants ended up in Germany.
But this clause was suspended for Greece in 2011 after the country lost an EU legal complaint which condemned the mistreatment of migrants seeking international protection.
"Since then, the EU has provided substantial support, not only financially," to Greece to improve its asylum seeker procedures, the German minister said.
'Greece must expel more'
In an interview on German television Sunday evening, De Maiziere also criticised Athens for failing to fully implement an EU agreement with Turkey to return migrants there.
The EU reached a deal with Turkey in March to stop the influx to the Greek islands in return for financial aid and eased visa conditions for its citizens. But the deal has looked shaky in the wake of a coup attempt in Turkey in July.
"Greece must carry out more expulsions," he told the ARD television station.
De Maiziere had already in August highlighted the need to reinstate the Dublin rules, provoking an outcry from Athens.
Greece stressed it was already coping with over 60,000 refugees and migrants blocked on its territory after countries further north on the so-called Balkan route closed their borders to the massive influx, notably fleeing the Syrian conflict.
Story continues below…
De Maiziere said he was conscious of the "strong reactions" of Greeks, as well as the huge number of migrants being dealt with by Greece as an EU frontline state.
But "that doesn't annul the need" to reinstate the Dublin rules, he said, stressing that "criticism of the convention not being applied keeps increasing in Germany."
The German minister, who has just revised the number of asylum seekers who arrived in Germany last year to 890,000 – down from a previous estimate of 1.1 million – reiterated Berlin's commitment to taking its share of refugees who arrived in Greece and Italy in 2015 and the start of 2016.
"Germany is ready to welcome up to 500 people per month" from the two countries, he said.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd