‘Constructive talks’ fail to ease migration worries

‘Constructive talks’ fail to ease migration worries

Amid mounting concern over the fate of an agreement between the European Union and Turkey to stem migrant flows to the continent, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson held a “constructive day of talks” in Ankara on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a tweet, Schinas thanked the Turkish government for its “hospitality” and reiterated that “the EU remains fully committed to the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement.”

However, doubts have been cast about the agreement, which was signed on March 16, 2016, as flows into Greece have increased and Turkey has accused the EU of not upholding its side of the deal.

Meanwhile, apart from the thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece, authorities are also struggling to care for the many unaccompanied minors around the country.

According to the latest data provided by the Labor Ministry’s National Center of Social Solidarity, Greece is currently hosting 5,276 unaccompanied minors. Out of this number, 8.9 percent are under the age of 14 while 42 percent are from Afghanistan, 23 percent from Pakistan and 11 percent from Syria.

To address the issue, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis heralded the creation in late November of a program called “No Child Alone” aimed at relocating some 4,000 child migrants currently living in island camps to more civilized conditions, as well as legal aid to help reunite them with relatives who have traveled on to other European countries.

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