ATHENS, Mar. 20 (Press Shia) – Over 500 refugees have arrived from Turkey to Greece over the past four days, which marks a significant rise in refugee influx to the southern EU state, a Greek refugee coordination center said Monday.
According to the center, on March 16, the Greek authorities did not detect any migrant arrivals, while, on March 17, 74 migrants arrived on Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Over the weekend, a total of 362 refugees arrived in Greece from Turkey. Monday saw the arrival of another 81 migrants.
On March 18, 2016, the European Union and Turkey agreed upon a deal, under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who come ashore in Greece if EU countries received Syrian refugees resettled from Turkish camps on a one-for-one basis. After the agreement took effect, the number of migrant arrivals in Greece has significantly diminished.
The relations between Turkey and EU member states have deteriorated due to the refusal of several EU member states, including the Netherlands and Germany, to allow Turkish officials attend the local expat communities’ rallies ahead of the Turkish constitutional amendments referendum which is to take place on April 16. The move prompted strong criticism from Turkey’s leadership, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who warned that the refugee deal could be broken.