Frontex office delayed?

Well, well, nothing is ever moving as fast as said. A new article in The Economist brings the news that apparently, the opening of Frontex’ Branch Office in the port of Piraeus will be delayed until October, after it was supposed to first open in spring, then in August.

There are two more aspects in the article that are worth noting, summarised in this paragraph:

So Brussels is sending in the cavalry. Frontex, a Warsaw-based agency created in 2004 to manage the EU’s external borders, will open a pilot office in the Greek port of Piraeus in October. Earlier this month its executive director, Ilkka Laitinen, went to Athens to finalise the plan with Greece’s home-affairs minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis. There was much talk of “milestones” and “adding value”. But there were hints of frustration behind the smiles. Mr Chrisochoidis welcomed the symbolism of the move but says in practical terms it will be “a drop in the ocean”. As for Frontex, squeezed by budgetary and personnel constraints, Mr Laitinen politely describes its job as “a challenge”.

Well, the Economist might have it the wrong way, since it also credits to job of managing the EU’s external borders to Frontex, which is not really true. However, the image of the cavalry is interesting, as it might still be sufficiently describing the role of Frontex in Greece: They don’t come to support, they don’t come to coordinate, they come to get the job done, and that by any means necessary. We have already described what that means: Maximising border “security” by all means, minimising the respect for human rights and international law. Or is this again a misconception, citing the drop in the ocean? We will be in Greece to find out.

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