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STUCK WITH ‘EM: Afghans and Iraqis crossing over to Greece cannot be sent back to Turkey says EU

Thousands of Afghans and Iraqis arriving on the Greek islands could avoid being sent back to Turkey it emerged last night as the EU’s £4.7billion deal quickly started to unravel.


While boatloads of migrants continued to cross the Aegean to Europe, Brussels officials admitted it could be weeks before they begin deportations.

And even when the removals begin asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq will not be returned unless Turkey changes its asylum laws that currently do not recognise them as refugees.

Under the agreement between the EU and Turkey, which went into effect on Sunday, all illegal migrants and refugees crossing to Greece should be deported.

However, Turkish government sources yesterday said that they had no plans to make the necessary legal changes to allow Afghans and Iraqis to be classed as refugees.

Figures show that 41 per cent of the nearly 125,000 people arriving on the Greek islands last month were of these nationalities. An EU source conceded: ‘If they don’t change the law, we won’t send people back.’

Confusion also reigned over whether new arrivals with family members already in Europe will be allowed to stay.


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