Wednesday, July 6

Frontex rip us off… let’s give it more money!

Suppose that anyone is going to reform their bathroom and hires a renovation company, which in theory is serious. At the beginning of the work, the construction company sends a squad that does not hit or hit, except for the enslaved migrant worker because here human rights bring to the hilt. But it is also that they do not have material because they have melted the money that we gave them to buy it. They have spent it on feasts, drinking and revelry at our expense. What do we do: kick them out and find another crew? Report them to get back what was scammed? You may not be aware, but this is happening to us.

The European Court of Auditors, in a devastating report, has just warned that Frontex, the supposed Border Control Agency, does not do its job, it spends millions without auditing, so it is not known where they are going, although EUObserver already has pointed out that to parties and banquets of more than € 90,000. And how does the EU react? Multiplying the budget and the staff so much that, in addition to the bathroom, they come to destroy the entire floor!

Is it hard to believe? Let’s go to the data.

Frontex was created in 2004 with 45 personnel and in 2019 it reached 750.

In 2006 it had a budget of € 19 million / year and in 2020, € 460 million / year.

After this report of the scandal it is announced that: the number will go from 750 to 10,000! and the budget will double the current one, € 900 million / year!

Surrounded by scandal, with expenses without control or utility

In 2020, based on complaints of illegal hot returns in the Aegean, dark suspicions arose about this supposed border guard, which led to an investigation by the EU Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and another by the Ombudsman. European, also that the very European Parliament requested the resignation of the director of Frontex, the French Fabrice Leggeri and until the European Commission addressed him in a letter where he accused him of “cheating” as well as “obstructing” and “delaying” the activation of the internal and independent controls provided for in the regulations.

In this context, on June 7, the EU Court of Auditors published a devastating report of more than 80 pages with statements as blunt as these:

– “Frontex support is not adequate to combat illegal immigration and cross-border crime.”

– “Frontex rarely analyzes its performance or the impact of its activities.”

– “Nor does it provide information on the real cost of its joint operations”

Leo Brincat, the member of the Court of Auditors who conducted the audit, came to affirm in the online appearance where the report was presented:

– “Frontex is not ready to perform its functions”

– “Member States not only feel that they are not being given enough support by Frontex, but that it is also draining their resources.”

That is to say, that Greece, Italy, Spain see that Europe instead of giving money to their police forces, which are those who work on the southern European border (the largest inequality gap on the planet), gives it to that vaporous Frontex that nobody he knows what he’s doing but where they dream of fleeing more and more national troops.

To make matters worse, these official findings come after On January 18, the EUObserver newspaper denounced that Frontex spends Only at its annual party in its host country, Poland, exorbitant figures of the order of: € 494,542 in 2019, € 580,152 in 2018, € 341,324 in 2017, € 371,063 in 2016 and € 360,499 in 2015. And in that 2015 edition, witness a dinner for 800 guests at the Belvedere restaurant in Warsaw that cost us taxpayers € 94,000.

Negligence in times of racism and shipwrecks

All this while the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachellet, holds the EU responsible in its report Lethal contempt, published in May, not to act in the face of “preventable deaths” in the Mediterranean. A crime that goes on and left yesterday more victims: at least one men, two women (one of them pregnant) and a child drowned, with four others still missing when a dinghy ran aground in the Canary Islands.

Vox, which lied in the Madrid campaign attributing a huge expense to support migrant children, is it going to demonstrate in Colón against the proven waste of parties and banquettes by Frontex?

All this while Vox sows racism with the Madrid elections poster where he lied about what it costs to support migrant children and justice acquits him saying that this is not a hate crime. Something very doubtful in weeks like this where in Mazarrón (Murcia) a former military man has murdered Youlnes Bilal 37-year-old shouting “Shit Moor!” and two days later in the Murcian Cartagena, a woman has stabbed a food bank user of Cáritas while crying out: “Sudaca! They take away our food!”

Will the fascists in Colón demonstrate against the Frontex spending on banquettes?

Despite the chaos of Frontex, it is promoted as the 1st armed force of the EU

And the EU or the governments of member countries, will they heed the logical demand of Human Rights defenders to abolish Frontex and increase the budget for Rescue Services?

Unlike! In a Europe without true political, budgetary, or military unity, this Frontex disaster is to be imposed as the main continental armed force.

As much or even more astonishing is that the Spanish government of PSOE-UP has gone from a open confrontation with Frontex in February, to request now –after the entry of 10,000 migrants through Ceuta– that its presence in this city and Melilla be reinforced and even to fight for the agency’s address.

What interests are behind the extreme defense of Frontex?

Those of us who have seen the Frontex people – and I have seen them in Lesbos, Algeciras and Tarifa – know them. Those of us who have seen them live –because saying “see them in action” would be a lie, right fellow journalists and NGO members, right civil guards and police officers, right rescuers? – we know that they are like that character from The one that looms: “Antonio Recio, wholesaler, I don’t clean fish.” His is not to roll up his sleeves and lay hands. They stroll, port up, port down, looking with superiority at those who work. Filling out questionnaires. They are the Brussels bureaucracy in the multi-pocket version of the “adventure” vest. An opaque and sinister body, not only in the accounts, but also in what mysterious way the staff is accessed and in their way of acting.

That is why it is so disturbing that after official reports that should lead directly to the dismantling of Frontex, a thorough cleaning and a change of course in border management, based on reestablishing the law, transparency of spending and human rights, the own Leo Brincat, audit director of the Court of Accounts, defend: “We are not saying that it disappears” but that “Frontex must address its problems as soon as possible for its own good”. And that, here in Spain, El País is launched like a squire in an editorial, Shore Frontex, which ends like this: “All ongoing investigations should not serve to undermine or bring down Frontex, but to prop up an essential agency.”

Thus, against all evidence. Thus, without a single argument. What, how does the body stay?