EU sticks by plans to return refugees from Monday, despite criticism

The European Commission still plans to begin Monday with the return of asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey, arguing that the required legal conditions will be in place by then, in response to criticism from the UN refugee agency and Amnesty International.

The commission is examining allegations that Turkey is sending Syrians back to the country and is raising the issue with Ankara, a commission spokeswoman says. The principle of not returning refugees to a country where they are at risk is a "red line" for the EU, she adds.

The European Union's executive is also doing all that is necessary to create the right conditions for refugees in Greece, the spokeswoman adds, while noting that this will "take time to materialize."

"We are aware that there are tensions, that there are capacity problems - this is precisely why we are there in the process of helping the Greek authorities to manage the situation," another spokeswoman notes.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

More from Europe

Belgian premier: Efforts to win over regions on EU-Canada deal failed

Belgium cannot approve a landmark free trade deal between the European Union and Canada, Prime Minister Charles...

Greece can receive new 2.8-billion-euro aid tranche, EU sources say

Greece's creditors are expected this week to approve a further 2.8 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars) in bailout...

Northern Ireland Christian bakers lose appeal in row over "gay cake"

A Northern Irish bakery lost its appeal against a court ruling that said it discriminated against a gay man by...

Mystery over identity of French killed in Maltese plane crash

Five French nationals were killed when a military aircraft crashed on take-off from Malta on Monday, the Maltese...

Belgian regional parliament digs in heels on EU-Canada trade deal

Last-ditch efforts to salvage a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada on Monday are bound to fail, a...