Avramopoulos plays down concerns over EU-Turkey migrant deal

TAGS: Migration, Diplomacy, EU

EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos has played down concerns over a deal between Brussels and Turkey that was meant to curb the flow of refugees making their way to Europe, while calling for more solidarity among member states on the issue of immigration.

“I do not think that the deal is at stake. Turkey has started delivering,” Avramopoulos said in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, while admitting that Ankara was facing “pressure” from domestic problems.

“As long as this deal works, management of the problem on the ground will be better,” Avramopoulos said.

Amid rising acrimony between Turkey and Europe since Ankara authorities responded to a failed coup with widespread purges, the deal appears increasingly shaky. It is estimated that more than a thousand migrants and refugees arrived in Greece last week.

The Greek official also urged national governments to do more to implement an EU scheme to relocate migrants from frontline countries Greece and Italy to other members of the bloc.

The program, devised last year, was intended to relocate 160,000 people over two years but only 4,776 have moved so far, amounting to 3 percent of the target.