Steady arrivals of migrants in Greece despite EU deal with Turkey

Greek authorities said Monday that migrants and refugees were continuing to arrive through its Aegean islands despite an agreement between the EU and Turkey to stem the flow.

The deal went into effect at midnight Saturday, yet in the last 24 hours, 1,662 people crossed from Turkey to the islands, the Greek crisis management authority said.

A day earlier, 875 migrants arrived, while the figure from the three previous days ranged between 239 and 1,498 people. 

With the latest arrivals, the number of migrants stranded on Greek soil rose to 50,411, Athens officials said.

According to the EU-Turkey agreement, migrants arriving on Greek shores can expect to be returned to Turkey starting in April, unless they can prove that they face persecution there. 

Greece needs 4,000 employees to handle the influx of migrants and determine their status, the European Commission has estimated.

For each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the EU is supposed to resettle one on its territory, up to the limit of 72,000.

Presently, there are more than 7,000 migrants stranded on the Aegean islands, about 13,000 are in Athens and its port, Piraeus, and the rest are in camps in central and northern Greece.

At Idomeni, a camp on the border that Macedonia sealed to migrants earlier in March, some 13,500 people remain in hope that they would still be allowed to continue towards wealthy EU countries.

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

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