Greece to start relocating migrants to mainland as winter comes

  • Giada Negri
  • 14.12.2017 09:53

On 11 December, the Greek government announced their intention to accelerate the relocation of migrants from islands to the mainland before transferring them to Turkey due to the approaching winter.

The statement is backed by a new deal negotiated with Turkey during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Greece on 7 December. In March 2016, an agreement with the country allowed the relocation of "illegal" migrants arriving on Greek islands back to Turkey in return for funds and softer visa regulations. However, the degradation of EU-Turkey relations following Turkey's democratic setback had slowed down the process and more than 15.000 migrants are stuck on the overpopulated islands. While the move is expected to improve living standards, no tangible changes are foreseeable in the overall migration management. The Turkey deal partially cut the number of people arriving on Greek islands but led to the creation of new maritime routes. Reform of the Common European Asylum System is under discussion to find a solution to the internal and external challenges.

About author: Giada Negri

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