Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Hrisohoidis offered to EU border control agency Frontex to open a branch in Greece. With this initiative the country targets to strengthen its external borders and reduce illegal immigrants.
75% of illegal immigrants who seek to reach EU countries pass through Greece, a percentage which requires caution and increased border control. Particularly worrying is the number of illegal immigrants by sea borders in the Aegean Sea. In tackling the problem Greece is determined to "seal" the borders with Turkey. The aim is to close the outlet to European Union countries.
Executive director of Frontex, Ilkka Laitinen is in Greece. According to Minister Hrisohoidis Mr. Laitinen’s presence here shows his and European Union’s concern in combating this major problem, with which Greece cannot cope alone. The Minister noted that the problem of illegal crossing of southern borders is mostly European. "Greece cannot serve alone to the basic principles adopted by the Member States, whether its approval for the treaty on European migration and immunity," said the Minister.
In an effort to fight illegal migration, Greece has prepared a national action plan. The country will restructure its operational activities on land, sea and air borders. Planned are systematic police controls on internal borders with the Member States of the Schengen Agreement. Mechanism for returning emigrants back to their homeland will be developed.
EU Border Security Agency Frontex was established in 2006 and its headquarters are located in Warsaw. The best efforts of Frontex are directed to the places from which immigrants enter the EU - the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and around the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.