EU border company trials excessive tech controls as Afghan combating spreads
ALEXANDROUPOLIS, Greece: The EU’s border company is trialling new high-tech surveillance tools to detect migrant boats, simply as fast positive aspects by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have raised the prospect of a surge in folks fleeing to Europe.
A balloon system geared up with cameras is being examined at Alexandroupolis airport close to the Greek-Turkish land border in northeastern Greece, and on the island of Limnos, with the goal of giving border officers a clearer view of approaching boats.
Deliberate earlier than latest Taliban advances in Afghanistan, it’s a part of a wider effort that features evaluation of rising pressures from the area.
“After all we’re observing and following the developments particularly in Afghanistan and Tunisia which could impact migratory flows in direction of the European Union,” mentioned Frontex spokesperson Piotr Switalski.
The built-in mixture of cameras and thermovision sensors with hyperlinks to ship transponders and satellite tv for pc communications offers officers a real-time view of a 60km circle of sea, masking 40,000 sq km.
“Border surveillance within the maritime space ought to be enormously improved due to this progressive system,” he mentioned.
Greater than 400 Frontex officers with a number of dozen autos, together with some geared up with thermovision expertise, in addition to eight patrol vessels, are stationed in Greece, which has been on the entrance line of the migrant disaster.
Each the company and the Greek coast guard have been hit by accusations that Greece has pushed again migrants from Turkey whereas the border company stood by, however each have denied appearing improperly.
A number of EU nations have stopped pressured returns of Afghans refused asylum whereas the combating intensifies. However Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi mentioned this week the EU couldn’t deal with one other main migration disaster.
After a slowdown final 12 months when coronavirus lockdowns restricted motion, irregular migrant arrivals into the EU via the western Balkans have virtually doubled this 12 months, Frontex mentioned.
Switalski mentioned arrivals in Greece spiked in July, with some 1,000 detections.
With 22,600 migrants discovered illegally getting into the EU through the western Balkans from January to July, numbers are removed from the degrees of 2015, when greater than 1 million folks, primarily from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq handed via Greece.
However what Switalski known as the “tough” geopolitical state of affairs within the area across the EU has heightened fears of a repeat that might put welfare methods beneath pressure and feed already robust political opposition to immigration.