Frontex, the European Union’s border protection agency, on Monday called for the deployment of 775 additional guards to deal with mounting pressure on the bloc’s external frontier.
The border guards, who are set to join the Frontex Joint Operations Poseidon and Triton, will be mainly tasked with documenting refugees and migrants traveling toward Europe and, secondarily, with monitoring land and sea borders.
According to sources, an estimated 600 staff will be posted across Greece’s “hotspots.” Operating under the Poseidon umbrella, these centers will help register and fingerprint new arrivals and start the process of relocating Syrians and others likely to be granted refugee status in other EU states.
Meanwhile, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), an EU agency, called for 374 additional experts to be deployed in Greece and Italy to support asylum procedures in the two countries.
The tasks of these experts will include joint processing activities, support in the implementation of relocation measures, support with the registration process and support in the detection of possible documents fraud.
A refugee relocation program is set to launch in Greece and Italy in the coming days.
Meanwhile, senior EU officials met with Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels to discuss a European Commission plan to contain migration flows that would see Ankara join Greek coast guard patrols in the eastern Aegean.
According to the plan, detailed in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung report, Turkey would build six EU-funded camps to accommodate up to 2 million people. EU officials denied the reports.
In Greece, authorities have made regular city buses available to transfer migrants from downtown Victoria Square to former Olympic Games venues, where they are being provided with food and accommodation. About 200 migrants have been transferred daily to the the Galatsi indoor arena north of the center and the Elliniko complex in southeastern Athens since Sunday.