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Greece calls on the EU to help control refugees entering the country

January 23, 2023 at 10:40 am

Migrants are seen on board on October 2, 2019 [ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images]

Greece is calling on the European Union for more help controlling the number of refugees entering the country.

According to a Greek official, border forces stopped 260,000 migrants from entering last year and arrested 1,500 traffickers.

According to UN data, the number of migrants entering Greece in 2022 tripled compared to the year before.

Already in 2019 Greece said it had reached its limit as the number of people attempting to enter the country showed no sign of slowing down.

Greece has gone to great lengths to prevent refugees from entering, including building a steel wall across the Evros River to prevent refugees entering the country by land from Turkey.

Turkey has consistently accused Greece of pushing migrants back over the border, which in some cases has cost them their life.

In December last year a Turkish drone captured the moment a Greek coast guard boat pushed back a group of refugees into Turkish waters.

In a report published last year Ankara found that Athens had forced roughly 42,000 asylum seekers to return to Turkey since 2020 with many being subjected to inhuman treatment.

According to Human Rights Watch in September last year the Greek government reported that it had “averted” 150,000 irregular arrivals in 2022.

Greek officers have handcuffed migrants, not given them life jackets, and thrown them into the sea.

In March 2022 a Syrian refugee was among 20 other asylum seekers who were loaded onto an overcrowded inflatable dinghy by Greek authorities and left stranded at sea for 17 hours.

READ: 2022 witnesses highest number of EU entry attempts by migrants