French Min. Darmanin: By protecting Greek borders, Greeks protect EU

Migration & Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi welcomed French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin at the Keranis building on Monday.

The two ministers exchanged views on managing the migration issue in Europe, ahead of France’s assumption of the EU presidency for the first half of 2022.

A ministry statement said that Mitarachi and Darmanin agreed “on critical sectors, such as the protection of borders, as both countries face common challenges – Greece as a frontline country and France as a destination country.”

Mitarachi pointed out that the delay in negotiating a new migration and asylum policy “cannot possibly lead to the European Commission’s complete inactivity in handling the migration issue,” as there are at least three issues where immediate action can be taken under the existing legislative framework: border protection, external relations and returns.

Darmanin, who had paid a visit on Sunday to the closed and controlled migration facility on Samos island, said the Greek authorities were “completely effective” in fighting illegal migration, and protect all of Europe by protecting their own borders. The French presidency of the EU is to use the Greek example in protecting external borders, in order to guarantee free movement of peoples within the EU. The French presidency, he said, must plan “very specific proposals for the European countries to guard external borders,” in solidarity with Mediterranean countries.