A majority of people coming to Europe from the Middle East and Africa are economic migrants using asylum-seeker status as a cover, according to a top EU official. The EU may reinstate internal border controls if the crisis isn’t resolved in two months.
“More than half of the people now coming to Europe come from countries where you can assume they have no reason whatsoever to ask for refugee status… more than half, 60 percent,” said Frans Timmerman, vice-president of the European Commission, citing what he said were new, unpublished figures from the EU border agency Frontex. Speaking on Tuesday with Dutch national broadcaster NOS, he added that these false refugees are mostly aspiring settlers from Morocco and Tunisia and are infiltrating Europe through porous Turkish borders in pursuit of better economic prospects.
Timmerman urged EU countries to accelerate the deportation procedure for those who pretend to be fleeing war or persecution. In this way, Europe would be able to provide support for those who need protection, he said.