Greece is poised to transfer thousands of refugees from overcrowded camps on its Aegean islands to the mainland amid escalating tensions in the facilities and protests from irate locals.
The leftist-led government said unaccompanied minors, the elderly and infirm would be among the first to be moved as concerns mounted over the future of a landmark EU-Turkey deal to stem migrant flows.
“The situation on the islands is difficult and needs to be relieved,” deputy minister for European affairs Nikos Xydakis told the Guardian. “Accommodation on the mainland will be more suitable. We will start with transfers of those who are most vulnerable, always in the sphere of implementing and protecting the EU-Turkey agreement.”
The operation, expected to be put into motion this week, came as Ankara warned the pact would not hold if Brussels failed to honour its pledge to allow Turks visa-free travel to the bloc.
In a fiery speech before the newly reconvened parliament at the weekend, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave his clearest signal yet that the six-month-old agreement was in danger of collapse because of slow progress over visa liberalisation. Under the plan, Turkey’s 80-million-strong population was to be given access to Europe’s border-free Schengen travel area in October.
Sep 27, 2020Bangladesh is hosting more than one million Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority community who are stateless, most of whom fled following a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017. “More than three years have elapsed. Regrettably, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated. The problem was created by Myanmar, and its solution must […]
Sep 26, 2020