As pressure amounts on Athens regarding its policy towards irregular migrants, more so with the rise of incidents which have led to deaths of migrants attempting to cross Greek maritime or land borders, Dimitris Kyridis, Greek’s newly appointed Minister of Immigration has proposed the launch of an operation under the name Sophia + , as a resumption of the previous operation Sophia (an EU naval operation for countering smuggling efforts in the Mediterranean).
Kyridis expressed his hope that the Libyan authorities would reach an agreement on the stationing of EU ships in its territorial waters, as the former naval operation Sophia did to combat irregular migration off the Libyan coast, arguing Sophia + will accordingly aim to dismantle the smuggling routes of irregular migrants coming from Libya. The European Parliament endorsed on Thursday a non-binding resolution to establish a wide search and rescue operation for migrants, a decision which was not received well by politicians in the Executive branch of the EU, including European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, who fear such an operation would encourage smuggling networks.
The resolution comes weeks after a migrant vessel which had departed from a coastal point in east Libya sank off of the shores of Greece leading to the death of hundreds, amid accusations pointed towards Greek authorities of “negligence” or even “involvement” in the disaster.
Source: Libya Alahrar