Greek PM launches asylum migrants spy probe

by Angie Westling

BBC News, Athens

The Greek prime minister has ordered a criminal investigation into people who helped migrants find asylum in the country.

Eleni Daskalaki said it was “my duty” to protect the Greek people from people who risked their lives to bring in dangerous people.

Most of the people – who were helping with the task – work for voluntary organisations such as Action for Europe and the International Rescue Committee.

Greece’s rightwing coalition government has repeatedly attacked these groups for “aiding and abetting illegal migration”

The alleged crime of espionage – which was not specified by Ms Daskalaki – carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

European migrants who reached Greece via the so-called “Balkan route” have grown increasingly determined to turn their back on the protection that is required of refugees in the country, and seek asylum elsewhere.

Many of the thousands who have arrived in Greece in recent years are now stuck in camps, in Greece, because they are unable to qualify for asylum.

A trial against six migrants is scheduled to begin at the end of June, and 17 other foreigners are still on trial.

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