The EU border protection agency Frontex is ready to more than double the number of border officers on the border with Turkey, the head of the EU border protection agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, said.

At present, 600 Frontex personnel are deployed in Greece on the land border with Turkey, in the Aegean and on the islands. The number could be increased to 1,500 at short notice.

Frontex reported almost 4,300 un authorised border crossings in May, around three times more as in April, the agency said in its latest report, with the route via Turkey to Greece or Bulgaria the “most active migration route to Europe”.

Leggeri criticised the current EU asylum system, saying: “Asylum applications should already be checked at the external borders. Asylum seekers should be informed as soon as possible whether they will be granted refugee status or not. If the asylum decision is negative, the migrants must be deported immediately.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put immense pressure on the border with Greece when he said at the end of February that the borders with the EU were open. His comments were seen as an attempt to put pressure on the Union to receive more money to pay for around four million refugees in his own country. Tens of thousands of migrants made their way to the border to Greece in an attempt to break through.

PHOTO: A Frontex patrol boat in the Mediterranean