Commission accepts that Germany sends migrants back to Greece — German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière was quoted as saying on 4 September his country had done a lot to help refugees, but needed help from the rest of the bloc to take in migrants.

“We have done a lot in Europe in order to improve the refugee situation in Greece,” de Maizière told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “This must have consequences that will enable refugees to be sent back to Greece according to the Dublin regulations.” asked yesterday (5 September) Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud  to comment how a possible return to refugees from Germany to Greece could be compatible with the Commission’s plan to alleviate the burden on Greece by relocating asylum-seekers to other EU countries.

Bertaud said everyone should abide by the rules, and that before Dublin is reformed, the returns to the country from where the asylum-seekers first crossed into the rest of the EU should apply. She added that the Commission was helping Greece to return to the standards of Dublin by the end of the year, and that a progress report on this effort would be published at the end of this month.

Greece has asked the EU to do more on relocation and reportedly has no plans to receive back asylum-seekers from wealthier EU nations – all the more so since relocation has not so far delivered the numbers promised.

Speaking about possible relocation of refugees to his country, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov recently said he had no intention to accept them.

Upon his return from a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Visegrad Four, Borissov said on 28 August: “I said categorically to my [EU] colleagues that we will not take back migrants. Does somebody believe that Austria, or Hungary, or Germany, will send us 10, 20 or 30,000 migrants, and that I will be waiting them at the airport?”

At the same time as Angela Merkel becomes under increasing pressure from her party following the CDU’s defeat by anti immigration AfD in her own constituency it is possible that somme pressure will be put on Greece to accept failed asylum seekers from Germany.

It is also not unusual for the EU institutions to use the debt issue and the disbursement of a loan instalment as a lever to force Athens to accept unpalatable conditions.