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Border Crisis: European Union Says Greece Must Let Migrants Claim Asylum

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March 16, 2020

The European Union has said that the Greek government must allow migrants to apply for asylum, despite its rhetorical support for their efforts to prevent the Turkish government from facilitating a wave of illegal migration into Greece.

Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, insisted: “Individuals in the European Union have the right to apply for asylum. This is in the treaty, this is in international law. This we can’t suspend.”

After Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist president, announced the migrants would be free to pass through his country into Europe, Greece suspended migrants’ automatic right to claim and asylum, to allow border forces to turn illegal migrants back and prevent a 2015-style deluge.

The EU does not typically allow its member-states to take such decisions on their own, but Greek prime minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis claimed he had invoked a little-known emergency clause in the EU treaties to permit the move — a claim which has been disputed by anti-borders actors and now the EU itself.

“We are going to discuss actually what they are doing, but they have to let people apply for asylum,” said Commissioner Johansson — a Swede from the Scandinavian country’s Social Democrat party — in comments reported by the Guardian.

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This article was posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 at 7:09 am

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