EU-Turkey refugee deal 'major blow' to traffickers

Sweden's migration minister welcomes prevention of thousands of deaths

EU-Turkey refugee deal 'major blow' to traffickers

World Bulletin / News Desk

The EU-Turkey migration agreement has been a “major blow” to people smuggling gangs , Sweden’s migration minister said Thursday.

Morgan Johansson heralded the March 20 deal as “positive from every perspective”.

Speaking to media in Stockholm, he added: “This deal has been a major blow against traffickers. [It has] prevented thousands of tragic deaths and paved the way for refugees to enter Europe via safe and legal routes.”

The agreement allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU. The resettlement program began earlier this week.

“Our only fear is that refugees in Turkey who haven’t applied for asylum will try to enter Europe again,” Johansson said.

The deal also provides a 6 billion euro (6.8 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees; visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the EU; and fast-tracked EU accession for Turkey.

It was agreed late last year, when more than a million refugees reached the EU and more than 800 drowned in the Aegean Sea as human traffickers crammed them on unseaworthy vessels heading for the Greek islands off Turkey’s coast.

Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2016, 14:56
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