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Greece Should Protect EU External Borders From Migrants 'More Effectively'

© Flickr / re:publicaSteffen Seibert
Steffen Seibert - Sputnik International
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Greece should more effectively protect the external border of the European Union from migrants and build more refugee reception centers with support from the European Commission, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday.

Refugees and migrants walk after disembarking from passenger ferry Blue Star1 at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, February 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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BERLIN (Sputnik) — The statement comes as the European Commission earlier in the day called on the European Parliament and the European Council to allocate 700 million euros ($760 million) for humanitarian aid for refugees within the bloc in 2016-2018.

"Greece must gradually increase its efforts to implement its obligations as a state on the outer border of the EU bloc and the Schengen area to protect its external borders and to build a working centers for the reception of refugees in the necessary quantity," Seibert told reporters.

According to the government spokesman, the European Commission's proposal on financial support will "to a large extent benefit Greece."

Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. Many of them take the West Balkan route, which crosses Greece, using the county as an entry point into the bloc from which they travel onward to wealthier EU states where they intend to apply for asylum.

Earlier this year, Athens asked the European Commission for 500 million euros to aid asylum seekers.

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