Thursday, 03 December, 2020

EU leaders visit Greece as migrant stand-off with Turkey continues

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Migrants in Greek custody at the border with Turkey on Tuesday

Best European officers are visiting Greece’s border with Turkey to evaluate the new crisis about refugees and migrants striving to enter the EU.

EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council main Charles Michel and European Parliament speaker David Sassoli arrived on Tuesday.

Key Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is hoping for help for Greece’s difficult line on defending its borders.

Turkey lifted controls on migrants exiting for the EU on Friday.

It took the choice immediately after struggling a major armed forces loss in north-west Syria, the place it has been attempting to build a risk-free spot to resettle thousands and thousands of Syrian refugees it took in through the ongoing civil war.

At least 24,000 persons have been stopped from crossing the border from Turkey because Saturday, in accordance to Greek government figures.

Austrian Primary Minister Sebastian Kurz has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of making use of the migrants as pawns. He also declared that his federal government had strengthened Austria’s borders to make sure the mass inflow of refugees and migrants of 2015 was not repeated.

EU international plan main Josep Borrell is due to check out Ankara to examine Turkey’s decision to drop restrictions on migrants, abandoning a offer struck in 2016.

What was the 2016 EU-Turkey offer?

  • It was proposed as a solution to the migrant disaster in which just about a person million refugees and migrants arrived in the EU in 2015 and hundreds died in mass drownings
  • On 20 March 2016 the EU and Turkey designed a deal that noticed Syrian refugees who arrived on Greek islands despatched back again to Turkey. In return Turkey obtained €6bn (£5.2bn $6.7bn) in EU support for migrants and refugees
  • For just about every Syrian particular person taken off from Greece to Turkey, yet another would be resettled from Turkey to the EU
  • The EU agreed to work towards lifting demands for Turkish citizens by the close of June 2016
  • Following the deal was agreed, the amount of migrants arriving in Greece declined sharply

What is the circumstance at the border?

Monday night time was tranquil in comparison with situations in excess of the weekend when hundreds of migrants clashed with Greek protection forces, a Greek army officer told Reuters information company near the Kastanies border crossing.

“There had been only a handful of makes an attempt these days [by migrants to cross the border],” he stated. “Let us hope they get the message.”

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Refugees and migrants gathered again on Tuesday at Turkey’s Pazarkule border crossing

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Some others waited on the Turkish coastline at Ayvacik in the hope of achieving Greece by sea

Some migrants which includes females and young children could be found in custody soon after becoming detained on the Greek facet of the land border.

On the Turkish aspect, migrants who experienced been ready about the border town of Edirne were once again relocating to the frontier.

A number of hundred migrants crossed to Greece from Turkey by boat in the latest times but people had been deterred by choppy seas on Tuesday, a police source told Reuters.

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Media captionGreek coastline guards shot into the sea beside this migrant dinghy and pushed it all around with their boats

A youthful boy died when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday, Greek law enforcement say. It was the first reported fatality considering that Turkey opened its border.

The three EU leaders arrived at the Kastanies border crossing.

Greek Primary Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claimed previously he anticipated a information of assist.

“Greece are unable to be blackmailed in this way, and it will not be blackmailed,” he informed folks in the town of Alexandroupolis.

“I think the actuality that right now we have, will have the presence of all the management of Europe here is support of this plan due to the fact I will hardly ever tire of reminding everyone and the Europeans that the borders of Greece are also the borders of Europe.”

Mr Mitsotakis tweeted shots of himself assembly Greek safety forces.

Mr Sassoli tweeted a picture of himself and his EU colleagues on their way to the border.

Why is the humanitarian crisis so grave?

Just about a million Syrians have fled to the Syrian-Turkish border considering the fact that December, amid hefty fighting in the Idlib region involving Turkish-backed rebels and Syrian federal government forces.

Turkey is previously web hosting 3.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as migrants from other countries this sort of as Afghanistan.

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Media captionRefugees and migrants assemble at the Turkish-Greek land border

President Erdogan said the EU had supplied no enable for resettling Syrian refugees in secure zones inside Syria and he predicted that “thousands and thousands” of migrants would go to the EU.

Greece has blocked any new asylum applications for the subsequent thirty day period, because of what it phone calls the “coordinated and significant nature” of unlawful migration from Turkey.

But the UN Human Legal rights Council mentioned Greece had no lawful justification for suspending asylum methods.

Europe’s leading human legal rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has condemned both equally Turkey and Greece, calling the predicament an “unparalleled humanitarian crisis”.

“Every little thing ought to be carried out to de-escalate violence in the border region, which include by guaranteeing that regulation enforcement authorities refrain from using abnormal force,” it explained.

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