The French and German governments are jointly trying to get the right to autonomously close borders within the EU, and to penalise Greece and Italy if they "fail" to keep borders closed to illegal immigrants.
http://blogs.ft.com/brusselsblog/201...#axzz1sZouIH2OIn a joint letter sent to the Danish presidency, Claude Gueant, the French interior minister, and Hans-Peter Friedrich, his German counterpart, are calling for countries to be granted the right to re-impose border controls unilaterally for 30 days if national authorities believe other countries – particularly on the EU’s southern and eastern frontiers – aren’t securing their borders.
A leaked copy of the letter Brussels Blog got its hands on (in French) can be read here.
The tone of the letter is threatening -The target of these new controls isn’t mentioned specifically, but it seems pretty clear that Paris and Berlin are talking about Greece, which has become the entry point of choice for immigrants from the Middle East and north Africa, thanks to its porous border with Turkey. Accusations have been flying for months that Greece is not living up to its Schengen responsibilities, and Frontex, the EU border control agency, has had to send reinforcements to back up Greek border guards. On the very first of the three pages, the Franco-German letter makes pretty clear they’re talking about Greece:
Greece and Italy absorb the costs of supporting immigrants who are trying to get to France and Germany, who then threaten them.Member states situated in southern and eastern borders of the EU have already made significant efforts to fight illegal immigration and protect the external borders against current threats…. Standards to protect our external borders are now in effect harmonized, but we only have a few options at our disposal to react when those standards are not complied with. We need a mechanism of assistance to ensure the implementation of common standards. We also need a mechanism for compensation if a member state, in spite of the aid it was given, is unable to perform its obligations to protect the EU’s external border
There is an undertone of "sending in the troops." Frontex EU border troops have already been used to prevent immigration into Greece. I am wondering if this accounts for the widespread rumours in Greece that foreign troops have been present?