Threats to drop Greece from the Schengen passport-free zone for failing to upgrade its refugee registering scheme and improve the conditions for incoming migrants seems to have shaken the Greek government, which has agreed to allow EU patrols to supervise migrant flows at its borders and has additionally requested humanitarian aid, the EU said.
In a statement late on Thursday, the EU said the Greek government appealed for the Frontex agency to send border guards to Greek islands in the Aegean.
The Greek government had initially refused to accept EU humanitarian aid or call in the EU’s special border agency but conceded ahead of today’s EU home affairs ministers’ meeting in Brussels, where Schengen suspension was to be discussed.
Serving as a first stop to Europe, Greece has borne the brunt of fleeing refugees from Syria through Turkey, seeing more than 700,000 migrants go through its borders this year.
The government has also called for the deployment of additional EU border control officers on its northern frontiers with FYROM, the statement said.