Big problems in Greece with promised deportations.
There is a big problem in Greece with the promised but yet to be fulfilled deportations back to Turkey.
So far only a paltry 2,000 migrants have been sent back to Turkey under an almost four year old deal with the EU to send back ALL “non-Syrian irregulars” PLUS one Syrian for every Syrian relocated to EU. That’s an average of 500 per year…and the situation is now even worse.
– A new scheme designed to relieve the overloading of migrants on Greek islands will speed-up asylum application procedures as well as deportations, the New Democracy government is hoping.
Hoping does not get things done.
Speeding up applications sounds nice but what does it really mean, besides more transfers to the mainland and schemes to relocate migrants to other EU states?
There are some 50,000 migrants on the mainland and the government is planning to replace island camps with detention centers to vet out those deemed ineligible for asylum.
But there is a big problem. There’s no way to force Turkey to take back the migrants. Turkey accepted only about 2,000 migrants back since a now essentially-suspended swap deal with the EU began in 2016. (This so-called swap deal was a fantasy, always overwhelmingly one-way with new migrants headed to the EU).
This has left the Greek government in a quandary. If Turkey refuses to take back the migrants, then how will this new “fast track” application process help with deporting the failed asylum seekers back to Turkey?
Not only must Greece seriously think about declaring the sea regions with Turkey as a military zone (no boats could pass through) but the EU as a whole must begin to ponder heavy economic sanctions against Turkey if they refuse to take back their migrants, which they are dumping on Europe.
The EU has the economic leverage. Turkey posted around $7.6B surplus in trade with the EU in the first 10 months of 2019; even more important when looking at the overall leverage, a whopping 50% of Turkey’s export market is the EU. In reality, the EU could break Turkey’s ribs (economically speaking) and they need to explain this to Erdogan.
In the end, the EU cannot rely on unstable tyrants to defend its borders, but must find the courage, using whatever means necessary, to do it themselves.