The majority of migrants and refugees who have landed on the Aegean islands since the March 2016 deal signed between the European Union and Ankara will remain in Greece as conditions for their return to Turkey are considered “not safe,” according to data from the country’s Asylum Service.
According to the data, authorities have processed 25,814 applications for asylum submitted by individuals stuck at island screening centers, or hotspots.
Authorities have rejected 5,437 of those claims and, under the terms of the deal, the applicants should be returned to Turkey. However, only around 1,400 of that number have been returned so far.
Meanwhile, 20,337 people have received permission to move to the Greek mainland. They will move to the next stage of their asylum process, provided that they are not enlisted in a European relocation schemes.
A total of 21,726 mostly Syrian refugees were relocated from Greece to other EU member-states under a program which was completed in 2017.