Request for return of some 2,000 migrants to Turkey

Request for return of some 2,000 migrants to Turkey

Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis has submitted a new request to the European Union border protection agency, Frontex, and the European Commission for the immediate return to Turkey of 1,908 “illegal economic migrants” residing at identification centers on Greece’s islands.

In a letter to the vice president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, Neighborhood Policy Commissioner Oliver Varelli, and Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri, Mitarakis said these 1,908 migrants are not entitled to international protection, based on the first paragraph of the  2016 EU-Turkey Joint Declaration. This states that migrants entering Greece from Turkey after March 2016 must be returned.

Mitarakis said expedited inspection procedures for Covid-19 in Greece and the acceleration of the asylum process have created the right conditions for the resumption of safe returns.

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