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Brussels, 3 December 2010

Cecilia Malmström welcomes the extension of RABIT Joint Operation in Greece until 2 March 2011

" I am pleased to announce that today the decision has been taken to extend the Rapid Intervention Border Teams (RABIT) Joint Operation 2010 in Greece until 2nd March 2011. The decision has now been communicated by Frontex to Member States, who are requested to extend their contribution to the mission. I am confident that member States will renew their commitment. The extended deployment of the RABIT teams is an act of European solidarity towards Greece.

The RABIT teams have been deployed from 2nd of November 2010 with an anticipated duration of two months, in the framework of the EU measures to help Greece cope with increased migratory flows. Their role is to give temporary assistance to Greek authorities in securing the land border with Turkey. I expect that Greece will use this extended period to intensify implementation of measures to improve its border management.

I also urgently wish to see Greece make good use of the money that the EU has made available, as of 1st of December, for alleviating the worrying humanitarian situation on the border."

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