Greek travellers to Germany are being singled out among their European peers and undergoing extra scrutiny from German authorities who are tightening border control.
The decision, which includes passengers transported by bus to a separate terminal for passport control, has been widely criticised in Greece and described by passengers as “humiliating”.
According to German authorities, the reason for the increase in controls is the volume of passengers arriving from Greece without a Schengen visa.
Between January and October, sample checks on passengers arriving in Germany from Greece revealed around 1,000 instances of people travelling without the necessary documents said the German Interior Ministry, a number they claimed to be significantly higher than from other Schengen member-states.
“We’re dealing with flights from Greece as if they were coming from Turkey or Egypt,” German federal police told Deutsche Welle.
According to Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud, Germany is one of a few EU countries to have restored checks on intra-Schengen arrivals temporarily, namely on flights arriving from Greece.
She noted the strict measures are aimed at dealing with the risk of illegal migration, which have risen with the refugee crisis, and that Berlin has provided assurances that it is merely to ensure public policy and internal security.
Athens has since lodged a demarche with Berlin over the increased checks, as they breach procedures stipulated in the Schengen Agreement.
A three-party meeting between EU experts and representatives from Greece and Germany is set to take place, looking into the reasons behind German authorities bypassing Schengen procedures for passengers from Greece.