Tighter grip on migrant traffic

Greece will take a more active role in the region toward monitoring the activity of illegal immigrants and will keep an eye on the immigration policies implemented by its neighbors, officials said yesterday. After a meeting between Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini, it was decided that Greece will help ensure that Balkan countries are accepting immigrants in accordance with European Union (EU) guidelines and that immigrants rights are being protected. The countries that Greece will oversee include Serbia, Albania and Bosnia. «I encouraged the interior minister to take on initiatives so that Greece can be even more present in the Mediterranean region regarding illegal immigrants,» said Frattini. Every year thousands of illegal immigrants try to cross into the EU by sneaking through Greece from Turkey. Brussels has urged Turkey to get tougher on the crackdown against illegal immigration.