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EU vs Greece, Italy, Croatia over Failed Refugee Registration

Migrants arriving in Piraeus.

Archive photo of Migrants arriving in Piraeus. Photo source: Greek daily Kathimerini

The EU said it is taking legal action against three member states for failing to register the thousands of migrants entering Europe through their borders.

Greece, Italy and Croatia may face litigation for failing to implement the Eurodac Regulation that foresees fingerprinting asylum seekers and registering data within 72 hours.

The EU said that it had warned the three member states of the infringement two months ago but “concerns have not been effectively addressed”.

Citing fears that entering refugees may pose a potential terrorist threat, the EU claims that the three countries have not managed to fingerprint thousands of incoming refugees.

Greece, which continues to face the brunt of fleeing refugees from Syria through Turkey, has fingerprinted some 121,000 of the almost 500,000 people between July 20 and November 30 this year, according to the European Commission. A large number of refugees, meanwhile, refuse to go through the procedure seeking to travel across Europe for a better future.

In response to the news, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said legal action would be “unreasonable”.

“For the work we’ve done, the only thing we deserve from the EU is a thank you,” he was reported as saying by the BBC.

The three countries are accused of breaching the Dublin Convention, according to which first-entry EU states are responsible for taking digital fingerprints and registering asylum applications. Asylum seekers must –according to the same convention — remain in the first EU country they enter.

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