Asylum seekers to be extradited back to Greece

29th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Over 1,000 asylum seekers will be sent back to Greece in the following months.

The Netherlands – The Netherlands will resume the extradition of asylum seekers who entered the European Union via Greece.

In the coming months 1,100 people will be sent back to Greece, following a Council of State decision that doing so is legal, Deputy Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak told reporters in Rome.

Earlier this week, Albayrak offered to help Greece with its asylum policy while on a visit to Athens.

Following a meeting with Greek officials involved in monitoring the border, the minister said it is important for European countries to work together to combat illegal immigration.

In an interview with Dutch public broadcaster NOS, she said: "If we do not invest in cooperation with countries on the southern European border, we will never solve our own migration problem."

A mission of asylum experts made up of Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND), the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Repatriation Service, will travel to the southern European country to share their knowledge on the matter, reports press agency ANP.

The Greek authorities plan to use a cruise ship to pick up asylum seekers who arrive on the Greek islands in small boats.

Albayrak said the key issue is to determine whether an asylum seeker is entitled to protection or whether the person is an economic migrant.

Refugees from Northern Africa regularly cross the Mediterranean on rickety vessels to land in European coastal countries such as Italy and Greece. The refugees then travel on from their landing spot to other EU member states.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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