World Bulletin / News Desk
Tuesday saw the highest number of refugee and migrant arrivals on Greek islands in the past five months, according to new UN data.
UN Refugee Agency figures claim in the last 24 hours, just over 460 migrants arrived on Aegean islands – the highest number since April 1. Lesvos saw the highest number of arrivals, with over 170. Kos, Chios and Rhodes islands – all adjacent to Turkey – also saw increased numbers of refugee and migrants arriving on their shores.
The reported increase follows a high-profile deal signed in March between Turkey and the European Union intended to curb the flow of undocumented migration.
Currently, more than 12,000 refugees remain stranded on Greek islands, unclear as to whether they will remain, be relocated to other European states or sent back to their countries of origin.
UNHCR statistics say over 163,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece in 2016 by sea but the numbers of daily arrivals had decreased significantly since the March EU-Turkey deal.
The agreement states that Turkey will work to prevent irregular migrants reaching Europe in exchange for extra financial help for Ankara in sheltering the millions of refugees on its territory plus Schengen-area visa liberation for Turkish citizens.
However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the deal could collapse if the EU does not deliver its side of the bargain.
“If the EU does not grant visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, Ankara will no longer respect the March agreement on migrants,” the Turkish leader told reporters in early August.Last Mod: 30 Ağustos 2016, 17:22