NEWS

Greece asks for deployment of EU civil protection mechanism

TAGS: Migration, Politics

The Greek Ministry for Immigration Policy on Thursday asked the EU to deploy its Civil Protection Mechanism to help deal with the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis.

“We tabled our request today – and not a few months ago – because back then we were not in a position to weigh our specific needs,”Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said on Thursday.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was established in 2001 as a means of fostering cooperation among national civil protection authorities across Europe.

Meanwhile, the Greek government did not discard the possibility of deploying special forces to diffuse mounting tensions in Idomeni at the country’s border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Addressing Parliament on Thursday, Mouzalas said the administration was working an an “operation plan” and was in touch with European Immigration and Home Affairs Comissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos regarding the issue.

Stressing that a solution would be found in Idomeni, Mouzalas said this might not be "a walk in the park" but a “tough moment for the government and everyone else." The issue was expected to be solved within four or five days, said Mouzoulas, "without physical violence or flowers." 

A man believed to be from Morocco died of electrocution on Thursday after touching railway cables along the border. At least two people were injured in clashes between refugee and migrant groups on the same day.

According to Greek authorities, about 6,000 refugees and migrants were gathered at the Greece-FYROM border on Thursday morning. About 2,500 of them were identified as migrants who were not authorized to cross the border, coming from countries such as Iran and Pakistan. FYROM authorities were granting entry to nationals from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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