EU Considers Ring-fencing Greece to Stop Migrant Influx

epa05089883 Refugees leave the registration and transit camp and head to board the train for the Serbian border, near the city of Gevgelija, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 06 January 2016. Serbia, Croatia and Hungary sent groups of police officers to help the Macedonian police in handling of the migrant crisis on the Greek-Macedonian border. Thousands of migrants continue to cross the border and pass through Macedonia on their way to the European Union countries. EPA/GEORGI LICOVSKI

European Union leaders are considering the option to ring-fence Greece in order to stop the massive inflow of migrants coming from Turkey.

Despite the agreement with Turkey for 3 billion euros in financial aid in exchange for stemming the boat loads of migrants going to Greece, the inflow has not been reduced in the slightest. After the failure to cooperate with Turkey, the European Commission is considering more drastic measures.

EU leaders are considering blocking the passage to Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and offering financial aid to the non-EU Balkan country.

However, this would mean that tens of thousands migrants will end up stranded in Greece. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has warned Europe that Greece might become a “black box” for refugees.

The plan was discussed on Wednesday by EU ambassadors after Slovenia’s prime minister Miroslav Cerar, sent a letter to his EU counterparts urging assistance to FYROM to prevent irregular migrants from crossing the Greece-FYROM border.
FYROM has received financial aid from the EU in the past but this would go farther than the previous plan.

The EC sent a team of officials to the region this week to assess what personnel and equipment FYROM would need to strengthen controls at the border with Greece. Meanwhile, the Balkan country shut its borders with Greece temporarily.

Blocking migrants at FYROM’s southern border would be the most severe measure taken so far. The vast majority of asylum seekers entering FYROM from Greece are heading elsewhere, notably Germany. Blocking the entrance to the Balkan country would leave irregular migrants stranded on Greek soil.