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Jun 16 29 tweets 17 min read
Thread: Appearances with right-wing populists and on TV: ex-#Frontex head Fabrice #Leggeri is causing trouble in the EU border protection agency. He even sneaked back into his old office for a video conference. Frontex threatens ex-director Leggeri with legal consequences. 1/x
2/x Actually, #Frontex thought it was rid of Fabrice Leggeri. At the end of April, the Frenchman was pressured to resign from his post as head of Frontex because he had covered up the #Greek refugee #pushbacks in the #Aegean.
3/x His contract was terminated and he was to vacate the office at the agency's headquarters in #Warsaw. But Fabrice Leggeri apparently can't quite let go. While the leadership of the #EU border management agency met last week in #Paris for a supervisory board meeting,
4/x #Leggeri was in #Warsaw. From his former office, he took part in a video conference with #European parliamentarians. This is according to a letter from the Chairman of the #Frontex Board of Directors.
5/x In the video conference, #Leggeri spoke with members of the #ECR group - where conservative and radical right #MEPs sit. There are pictures of the call. They show #Leggeri in his office chair.
6/x In the background: #Frontex pennants and a map of Europe. Just as if #Leggeri were still #Frontex director. All colleagues were surprised by the action of their former boss, says a Frontex employee. "It is sad that he is now sneaking into his office at the end."
7/x #Leggeri has been cozying up to the political right for weeks. In the #European Parliament, the former #Frontex chief has recently been spotted several times in dialogue with conservative and right-wing politicians.
8/x Former far-right French presidential candidate Éric #Zemmour publicly defended him. And after his speech to the ECR parliamentary group, Jorge Buxadé, a far-right politician from the Spanish party Vox, tweeted about Leggeri's fate.
9/x Progressive forces, Buxadé said, wanted to turn #Frontex into an immigration agency. Leggeri, that is the message the former Frontex head is spreading, is a victim, not a perpetrator.
10/x Most recently, #Leggeri also spread his conspiracy narrative on #Polish television. Leggeri allowed himself to be addressed by the presenter as "Mr. President" at times and defended the #Greek #pushbacks. According to Leggeri, these were legal interceptions.
11/x He did not mention that men, women and children were abandoned in inflatable life rafts on the open sea.
The #Frontex Board of Directors and Interim Director Aija #Kalnaja have now obviously had enough of the former director's behaviour.
12/x #Leggeri was clearly told that he was not allowed to do anything that was in "any way connected to the post of Executive Director of #Frontex", writes #German Board Chair Alexander Fritsch in his letter to the remaining members.
13/x Interim head #Kalnaja had made the legal situation clear to him "once again" in writing and asked him to enter his office only for "final private and professional" matters. On Polish television, #Leggeri had expressed his opinion on ongoing matters in the agency,
14/x Fritsch writes further. He would ask #Leggeri in writing not to do so any more and inform him of the legal consequences if he did not comply with this request.
15/x In the European Parliament, which #Leggeri had lied to about the #pushbacks for months, some are less forgiving. Leggeri had violated his duties as a former EU official, says Left MEP Cornelia Ernst. "We call on the Administrative Council to take immediate legal action."
16/x Leggeri's campaign is also significant because he still has influential henchmen at Frontex. A power struggle is currently raging behind the scenes. The fight is not only about the direction of the agency, but also about posts. A new director is to be elected soon.
17/x Interim head Aija #Kalnaja, until now one of Leggeri's deputies, is considered the favourite. Leggeri had rallied a striking number of Frenchmen around him during his term in office. His confidant Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin,
18/x who once pushed through Leggeri's wishes as head of cabinet, had to leave with him. But the French dominance could now be over. Interim head Kalnaja has excluded some Frenchmen in leadership positions from discussions and relieved them of their duties,
19/x according to a confidential document from the French authorities. She apparently wants to weaken the influence of Leggeri's followers and is engaged in "French bashing. Kalnaja shows them "contempt" or even "hatred", according to the French interpretation
20/x #Kalnaja had indirectly distanced herself from Leggeri during an appearance in the European Parliament. There she reported, among other things, on the poor state of the agency. "Many no longer want to work in the agency as it was," she said.
21/x But despite Leggeri's resignation, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that the agency will now draw consequences from the illegal #pushbacks of the #Greek coast guard. To this day, German federal police officers, among others,
22/x are sent on joint operations with the #Greek coast guard. In the past, the officers intercepted refugee boats and handed them over to the Greek coast guard - which then abandoned the people in inflatable life rafts at sea. Only a withdrawal from the Aegean would change that
23/x But Frontex is reluctant to do that. "Border protection is not a pony farm". The head of #Frontex does not decide alone on the course of the EU border protection agency. The really important decisions are made in the Frontex Management Board,
24/x in which the governments of the Schengen states and the EU Commission are represented by delegations. Recently, the delegations met for an informal lunch to discuss the future of the agency. The Greek government in particular continued to advocate a hard line at the border.
25/x This is according to a summary by German diplomats. #Frontex is a border protection agency, the #Greek representative said, and the agency must support the #EU member states in preventing illegal border crossings. There was no need for lectures,
26/x especially not from #Frontex's fundamental rights officer. The #Greek|s were supported by #Austria and numerous Eastern and Southern #European states, among others. The crimes of the Greek coast guard do not seem to be a problem for them.
27/x Literally, the words are said to have been uttered: "Border protection is not a pony farm." #Germany, #Sweden, #Belgium, #Luxembourg and the #EU Commission, on the other hand, stressed that #Frontex must both protect the external borders
28/x and uphold the fundamental rights of #refugees. This self-evident fact, it seems, is currently a minority opinion in the #EU.

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