EU Commissioner Avramopoulos: ‘Greece will stay in Schengen zone’

Avramopoulos: ‘Greece will stay in Schengen zone’

Dimitris Avramopoulos denied media reports that Greece will be expelled from the Schengen passport-free-travel zone if it fails to manage the refugee flow.


In an interview with Greek broadcaster Mega TV, Avramopoulos, the European commissioner in charge of migration issues, said “there is no such plan,” responding to claims that Greece would be temporarily ousted as a member.

“If Schengen collapses then the entire European structure will start collapsing,” the Greek commissioner said.

On Saturday, Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt that if Athens does not do more to secure the EU’s outside borders, “one must openly discuss Greece’s temporary exclusion from the Schengen zone.”

“The patience of many Europeans has reached its limit,” she said.

Avramopoulos said Greece has come under pressure from its European partners to proceed with setting up migrant “hotspots,” where refugees are registered upon arrival, but added that “Greece has been moving at a faster pace recently.”

Avramopoulos also said the relocation process of moving 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU countries is not going fast enough. He added that the Commission will come up with measures to improve the process.

Source: Politico

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