NEWS

Turkey not challenging traffickers, says minister

Men wrapped in thermal blankets wait to get on board a ferry bound to Piraeus, at the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesvos, Tuesday.

TAGS: Migration

Turkey has not taken any action to clamp down on human traffickers and between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants and refugees are reaching Greece every day, Immigration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said Thursday.

Mouzalas suggested in an interview on Skai TV that Ankara has not lived up to its pledges to stem the flow of people traveling across the Aegean to Greece. “It has not done anything to stop human trafficking, as is evident from the migratory flows.”

The minister said that the high level of arrivals has continued because the news that some migrants are not being allowed through European borders has yet to filter through but, at the same time, refugees waiting to cross from Turkey are concerned that if they do not do so soon they will be prevented from reaching Central and Northern Europe.

“The high rate has to do with refugees’ fear that the borders will close for everyone,” he said, adding that he though this possibility is “very likely.”

“When the message reaches Morocco that Moroccans are not being allowed to cross into Europe but are being held and repatriated, the flows will drop.”

Mouzalas said that around half of the people arriving in Greece over the last two months have been undocumented migrants.

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