Europe fails to comply with EU-Turkey deal, says

February 9, 2017

Europe has not hold up its end of the EU-Turkey deal signed last March, as numbers released by the Greek Migration Ministry showed nine thousand more refugees should have been relocated in 2016.

The reason these refugees remain stranded in Greece was that the EU countries refuse to let them in. In addition, the acceptance of relocation requests by member states of the bloc took up six months whereas it was supposed take ten days, the ministry reported.

The EU-Turkey deal states that Turkey should bar refugees from illegally entering Europe, while the EU countries would participate on the relocation program to help decongest Greece.

Since the deal has been implemented, the Greek Asylum Service approved more than 21,400 relocation requests by refugees, but, a little over 13,600 places became available in the EU countries, leaving some 9,000 people stuck in Greece.

According to the ministry, the main reason behind this was the lack of space in facilities in the destination countries while countries like Hungary and Poland added to the problem by not accepting any refugees whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Turkey respected the deal by cutting down the refugee flow, from its coasts to the Greek islands, almost entirely.

Official government data show in 2016, more than 51,000 people requested for international protection in Greece, more than half of them being Syrians.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, almost 173,500 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece last year, with more than 62,000 remaining in the country.

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