Germany to resume returning migrants to Greece

An Afghan migrant carries a child at a state-run camp for refugees and migrants in Schisto, near Athens, | REUTERS

IBTimes — Germany is set to restart the process of sending migrants back to Greece despite a backlog at Greek migrant registration centres, the so called ‘hotspots’.

A 2011 ruling by Germany’s constitutional court prevented the deportations of migrants, but  the country has been able to circumvent the earlier ruling using the terms of the Dublin Convention

The convention states that asylum seekers entering the EU should be dealt with in the first country they enter. Greece had come under increasing pressure to take back the growing number of migrants that had passed through its borders.

Up to the end of July, Germany had asked Greece to take back 392 asylum seekers. The deal also will only affect those who had entered Germany after mid-March 2017.

Germany took in around a million migrants in 2015-2016, mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, a move which at the time drew critics and plaudits in equal measure.

During that time, Greece was unable to cope with the numbers because the country was crippled by the financial crisis. But Germany argues that the Greek  economy has stabilised and the number of migrants attempting to enter the EU has dropped.

Italy has since borne the brunt of migrant arrivals,with new measures announced by the EU earlier this year to help tackle the problem. But an EU plan to move 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to other parts of the EU is dogged by delays and opposition.

The European Commission said just 25,438 had been relocated as of 4 August.