Greece asks EU for help with illegal immigrants
Greece has asked the European Union for help to stem the growing tide of illegal immigrants across its border with Turkey, dpa reported.
A rapid intervention team from EU border agency Frontex will be deployed to the border, acting under Greek authority, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Sunday in Brussels.
It will be the first time that rapid intervention border teams will be deployed since they were created in 2007.
An increasing number of refugees - mainly from Africa and Afghanistan - attempt to cross the Turkish-Greek border and find their way into the EU.
"Recently, the number of illegal refugees has grown steadily and the situation is become increasingly dramatic," wrote the Commission. This applies especially to the 12.5-kilometre-long stretch at the border river Evros.
Turkey on Friday promised to cooperate with Greece to combat the large number of irregular immigrants making their way into Europe, in exchange for Greece's help to ease visa rules for Turks.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement following talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou on the sidelines of a Mediterranean climate change conference.
According to the United Nations, an estimated 300-400 migrants enter Greece each day, which has led to a national crisis within the Greek detention system, namely migration detention facilities, police and border guard stations and prisons.