Fifty Georgian nationals deported from Germany
Fifty Georgian nationals were deported from Germany for violating the rules of the visa-free travel agreement which Georgia has with the European Union, the Interpressnews agency reports.
The deported Georgian citizens, including children, arrived back in Tbilisi on a special flight.
According to the deportees they were expelled from the country by court ruling. “They came to our homes and took us to the airport,” the deportees claimed.
“The Georgian nationals who were illegally staying in Germany were deported from the country – the reason being that they didn’t have sufficient grounds for seeking asylum in the country,” said Irma Tsiramua, a spokesperson for the FRONTEX company who is in charge of monitoring the process.
• Earlier in February this year, nineteen Georgian nationals who flew from Kutaisi to Memmingen were refused entry into Germany.
• The German Federal Government has long been concerned over the increasing number of Georgian asylum applications, which has been associated with a rise in organized crime. On 8 February Joachim Stamp, a Member of the Cabinet of Ministers of North Rhine-Westphalia demanded an end to the visa-free travel arrangement with Georgia saying that the number of Georgian citizens that come to Germany and then end up staying in the country as refugees has been increasing, as have the number of crimes committed by Georgians.
• Georgia has already received a similar warning from the European Union. The European Commission has made it clear that Georgian criminal groups have become a big problem for Europe.
• Christian Klos, Head of the Migrant Law Division at Germany’s Interior Ministry, and Annett Gunther, the Commissioner for Refugees and Migration at the Federal Foreign Office arrived in Georgia on 6 March to discuss the migration-related problem. As was pointed out during talks with Georgian officials, Germany was going to considerably reduce the term for the consideration of asylum applications. Georgia in turn is also going to take some preventive measures and amend the corresponding legislation.
• On 6 March Georgia took specific steps in this regard. The procedures for changing last names were toughened, allowing individuals who committed crimes and who had their names changed to be identified.
• According to the German Embassy, the number of asylum seekers from Georgia has tripled compared to the period before the visa liberalization. In January alone 700 Georgian nationals requested asylum in Germany, and almost 100% of them were refused.
• The visa-free travel agreement between Georgia and the EU came into force on 28 March 2017. Since this date up until the end of December last year, 170 000 Georgian citizens have travelled visa-free to Europe.
• The European Union reserves the right to implement a so-called ‘suspension mechanism’ to revise the visa-free agreement should Georgia fail to comply with its commitments. The Georgian government claims that despite the problems there is no risk that the EU will revise the visa waiver.