Greece calls halt to migrant deportations

Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016, 08:37


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Greece paused deportations of migrants to Turkey on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took back 202 people under a controversial EU plan to cut off a migrant route to Europe.

Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.

More than 220 reached the Greek islands on Monday alone, according to the UN.

An increase in asylum claims has also reduced those eligible for deportation.

Under the EU deal with Turkey, migrants arriving illegally in Greece after 20 March are expected to be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected.

For each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the EU is due to take in another Syrian who has made a legitimate request. Two Syrians were deported from Greece on Monday, while 32 were flown from Turkey to Germany and 11 to Finland on Monday. Another 31 Syrians arrived in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

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