Visiting interior ministers press for better border management, pledge solidarity
A meeting between Greece's Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis and his visiting French and German peers Bernard Cazeneuve and Thomas de Maiziere concluded on Friday with the foreign envoys underlining the need for more efficient border management and Kouroublis saying they agreed on solidarity and clarifying procedures.
The meeting was also attended by Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas, Alternate Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas and Citizens' Protection Minister Nikos Toskas.
In comments after the talks, Cazeneuve said the priority was to boost the remit of the European Union border monitoring agency Frontex to improve the management of the bloc's frontiers.
He added that it was imperative to immediately connect the Schengen information database with those of other European countries and to move forward with completing reception centers for migrants that meet basic humanitarian needs. He also indicated that other EU member states will send teams of experts to Greece to help with efforts to crack down on the use and production of forged passports.
De Maiziere also underlined the need for the personal data of migrants who are suspected of links to terrorism to be added to the Schengen database and promised German help in this area.
Kouroublis said Greece asked for European support in securing the safe passage of refugees and in returning migrants to their countries of origin.