Balkans | The European Union is again criticizing Greece for the rollbacks

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Balkans |  The European Union is again criticizing Greece for the rollbacks

The European Union Commission has once again criticized Greece after coast guard officers took migrants in a motorless boat to the central Aegean Sea.

Ylva Johansson, a member of the European Union Commission responsible for home affairs, evaluated the photos published by The New York Times in an interview with the media organization Politico.

This is worse than being pushed, Johansson said, “What is shown in the videos is deportation.” He said.

Johansson said there was no reason to be suspicious of the images in the video. This is totally unacceptable.” He said.

Johansson asked for an explanation from the Greek government, and said:

They promised me last summer that they would set up an independent monitoring mechanism, but so far that has not happened. The first thing to do now is for an independent Greek authority to investigate this and find out what happened.”

According to photographs published in The New York Times, 12 asylum seekers, including women and children, were taken to a remote point in a white minibus by people in ski masks, and then put on an inflatable boat on the island of Lesbos. The boat then transfers them to a Greek coast guard boat. The boat drops refugees in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

Recalling the need to reform EU migration laws in order to prevent issues such as pushbacks, Johansson drew attention to the importance of a new migration agreement that was introduced by the Commission but not approved by all members for years.

The new EU migration agreement consists of 11 files. 5 of them are accepted, but there are objections to 6 of them. Hungary is one of the European Union countries that opposed. The right-wing Sweden Democrats, which supports the government in Sweden, is also among those opposing the agreement. The EU Commission hopes for progress in the Belgian presidency, which will start on January 1.


Reports of pushbacks by the Greek Coast Guard have been in the international press since 2020. According to these reports, Greek Coast Guard boats are blocking or even damaging boats of migrants who want to cross from Turkey to Greece.

Pushbacks are also being raised by the United Nations and many human rights organizations. According to the reports of these organizations, Greece used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets for those who tried to cross its land borders in the Meric border area with Turkey.

Witnesses to the violence cite numerous violations of the law, including excessive use of force by Greek border units, beatings, use of real ammunition, illegal detention, and systematic retaliation against Turkey.

Despite all the evidence, news and statements from the authorities, pushbacks are still being reported.


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