Frontex border guards did not want to see pushbacks and even supported them with EU funds

Frontex border guards did not want to see pushbacks and even supported them with EU funds

A boat carrying Afghan refugees approaches the Greek island of Lesbos, in an archive photo from 2020.Dutch photo height / AFP

OLAF’s 129-page report top secret, but German weekly from the mirror The French daily newspaper Le Monde I managed to get a copy, and it was widely quoted from the prosecution results. “Exposes the full extent of the Frontex scandal,” the report wrote. from the mirror Friday.

It has been known for some time that this is a scandal. Pushbacks have been in the Aegean since 2015, and it’s been previously proven that Frontex occasionally looks the other way when Greek border guards pull a boat full of refugees out to sea. At the end of April, Frontex manager Fabrice Leggeri had to pack his bags when the OLAF report on the issue cast a shadow.

Leggeri has long dismissed allegations of involvement in backlash practices, but in April it became clear that there would be no denying following the anti-fraud service report. He had no choice but to resign along with two of his fellow directors.

The letters, emails and interviews available to the researchers from which the report quotes give the impression that Leggeri no longer trusts the EU and the European Commission, because he feels that they were too dependent on NGOs. In 2018, an idea popped into the head of Frontex that the service had become a very useful “taxi” service for immigrants.

The surveillance plane was sent away

from the mirror He cites an example of the method in Frontex: on August 5, 2020, the Greek border guards pull a boat carrying thirty refugees out to sea. Frontex Control Aircraft (‘FSA’) follows the ship so that the entire reaction can be seen live at Frontex headquarters. This makes people uncomfortable, but instead of interfering, they decide to send the plane to a new location; The Mediterranean Sea.

Management is aware of the replays and it is known why the aircraft were patrolling elsewhere. from the mirror Quotes a handwritten note dated November 16, 2020: “We withdrew from the Free Syrian Army some time ago to avoid witnessing…” Headquarters warns that refugees (in violation of European guidelines) are in grave danger, and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Frontex to cope with her. There are already fears of a “significant reputational risk to Frontex”.

Evidence is hidden and hidden from Frontex’s board of directors and from investigators in the European Parliament. It is the responsibility of the European Parliament to conceal that the service is using EU funds to fund some of the blocking.

Many of the issues raised in the report are already known, including through his research from the mirror But since OLAF is an official EU organization that has thoroughly researched and substantiated everything, the report is likely to be given more weight.

In any case, he urges the new (interim) leadership of Frontex and the European Commission to move quickly. The Commission must find an answer to the question of how millions of euros will go to Greece each year: the money with which Greece should help migrants according to European guidelines, and not leave them at sea on lifeboats without motors. How is it possible that Greece still feels that it is not violating any law.

Legere’s career is now over, from the mirror He predicts that this report will cost more people their jobs.

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