clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Return Agreement between Greece & Turkey

Posted by clandestina on 15 May 2010

ATHENS — The Greek Minister for the Protection of the Citizens
announced that Greece & Turkey signed in Athens a “bilateral agreement” on Friday, which lays the legal basis of the return in Turkey of the thousands of irregular migrants who arrive on Greek shores.

The agreement especially foresees an « efficient implementation » of the
readmission protocol signed 10 years ago, and that Ankara was reproached by Athens not to respect. This agreement was signed by the Greek Minister, Michalis Chryssohoïdis, and by his Turkish counterpart, Besir Atalay, at the favour of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit in Athens.

“In this decision commonly co-signed” by both ministers, Turkey commits itself, as noticed by the Greek minister, to « take any necessary
measure » to put this protocol into force.

Additionally, the communiqué mentions that: “Turkey has to decide where, in Izmir’s harbour or somewhere close to this city, to open a border office within 3 months, which will be used for the readmission of
irregular migrants”. Turkey has also accepted to accept “at least 1,000
readmission requests each year”.

Greece, which locates very close to the Turkish coasts and shares a
common mountain border with the Balkan area, is ranking first in terms of irregular entries in the EU: 70% of the irregular people registered by Frontex during the first semester in 2009, about 51,600 people, were apprehended there.

This migration influx, especially from Afghan and Iraqi origin, has
become the new bone of contention between Athens & Ankara.

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