A top court in Greece has ruled that asylum seekers should no longer be held in reception centres while their claims are being processed, sparking fears that a fresh wave of migrants could flood into the rest of Europe.
Migrants who arrive in Greece have been forbidden from travelling past five islands since March 2016, after the Greek Asylum Service tried to contain the influx of people arriving in the country.
Greece’s top court overturned the decision, saying there was no “serious and overriding reasons of public interest and migration policy to justify the imposition of restriction on movement”.
The case was brought to court by the Greek Council for Refugees, who hailed the ruling as “an important victory for all those who defend the rights of refugees in Greece and in Europe”.
According to Euractiv, EU officials have described the ruling as a “big worry”.
Crossings between Turkey and the Greek islands are up 27% this year already, compared to the same period in 2017, according to UN data.
Under the new ruling, no migrants will be held in Greece and will be free to continue onwards into the rest of Europe.
This issue isn’t going away, and sticking plaster solutions won’t work in the long run. This could lead to even more chaos.