Refuge-seekers protest against EU-Turkey deal in Greek island

The demonstration came two days after EU officials hailed the progress achieved in dealing with the refugee influx over the past year.

By: IANS | Mytilene (greece) | Updated: March 19, 2017 7:27:59 am
refugees, eu turkey deal, european union, lesvos, greece, refugee protest greece, refugee protest lesvos, syria, afghanistan, bangladesh, unhcr, united nations Refugee children shout slogans during a demonstration against racism in Athens, Greece, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis

Over 2,000 refugees, migrants and locals launched a protest on the Greek island of Lesvos on Saturday to protest against the EU-Turkey agreement enforced last March to stem the refugee-migrant flows to Europe. “Freedom”, “Stop deportation” were among the main slogans shouted by refugee seekers from many countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Xinhua reported.

The demonstration came two days after EU officials hailed the progress achieved in dealing with the refugee influx over the past year.

During a tour at refugee accommodation facilities on the Aegean Sea island on Thursday, European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said the successful implementation of the EU-Turkey deal was proved by the reduction of migrants crossing the Aegean sea from about 10,000 per day to less than 100 per day.

UNHCR said more than 20,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in the Aegean islands of Greece since March 20, 2016 when the EU-Turkey deal began to be implemented. Of the total arrivals, about half of them landed in Lesvos which received the bulk of the one million refugee arrivals from early 2015 to early 2016.

The EU said under the EU-Turkey agreement, 916 people had been turned back to Turkey as of March 16.

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