A delegation of the Standing Committee for European Affairs of the Parliament of the Netherlands visited Greece, from February 25th-28th. First stop was Athens where the MPs met with their counterparts at the Hellenic Parliament, as well as with the Alternate Minister of Public Order, Nikos Toskas and were informed about the current situation concerning migration. They also held discussions with representatives of NGOs and international organisations.
Next, they visited the island of Lesvos, where they met the Secretary-General for the Aegean Mr. Theodosiadis Gianellis, the Mayor of Mitilini Mr. Spyros Gallinos and representatives of the Hellenic Police and Coast Guard. They had the opportunity to visit the hotspot and watch the registration and screening procedures that are carried out by the Greek authorities in cooperation with Frontex.
After Lesvos, the MPs visited the island of Chios, where the Netherlands has deployed a Border Security Team under the umbrella of Frontex. On Chios the Netherlands supports the Hellenic authorities with two FRISC patrol boats, Royal Marechaussee gendarmerie and the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service, with experts covering all aspects of the migration influx on the island (such as interpreters, screeners, document experts, etc.).
On Sunday, February 28th the delegation visited Idomeni at the Greek border with FYROM. They viewed the current situation and were briefed by the Hellenic police, Frontex and UNHCR. The Dutch ambassador to Greece, His Excellency Caspar Veldkamp, stated that “this visit has given the MPs the opportunity to witness for themselves what the current state of play is in Greece and to see the Dutch Border Security Team in action.” During their visit to Chios, one of the Dutch patrol boats, in cooperation with the Hellenic Coast Guard, performed a search and rescue operation and apprehended a smuggler.
SOURCE: Hellenic Parliament/Embassy of the Netherlands facebook page
PHOTO: Hellenic Parliament – Joint session of the Members of the Standing Committee for European Affairs of the Parliament of the Netherlands and Greek MPs