* The EU-Turkey deal has returned just 4% of migrants who arrived in Greece. The far-left leaders of Greece are failing to return “all non-Syrian” irregulars to Turkey as required by the deal.
The deal Angela Merkel sold to Europe was this:
1. All “irregular non-Syrians” entering Greece after March 20, 2016 would be sent back to Turkey with “no exchange”.
2. For every “Syrian refugee” sent back to Turkey from Greece, one “Syrian” in a Turkish camp would be sent to an EU member state for relocation. The so-called “one-for-one” exchange.
One of the reasons the EU is sending Turkey obscene sums of money is to take back all the migrants. However, since the deal, Greece has merely held almost all of the arriving migrants on islands. Instead of being sent back to Turkey, the illegal migrants are roaming into countries such as Serbia – where they seek internal smugglers to take them north.
The results. 45,972 migrants have entered Greece via Turkey, but just 1,896 migrants have been returned to Turkey, according to a recent report by the EU. In other words, just 4% of the migrants who crossed over to Greece since the deal have been returned. The ratio is 24:1.
The report notes that “returns from the Greek islands to Turkey remain much lower than the number of arrivals.” Since September, the EU resettled 8,834 “Syrians” from Turkey. Under the original “one-for-one” exchange, this meant that 8,834 Syrian refugees were to be sent to Turkey. Obviously, this did not happen. Very few Syrians who entered Greece since the deal have been sent back to Turkey. Among those returned? 888 non-Syrians.
The point is clear: The EU is not fulfilling its duties under the deal and has failed to send back “all irregulars” and the appropriate amount of Syrians to Turkey.
The EU Supreme Court recently ruled that Syrian refugees unwilling to return to Turkey could be sent back by force. Unfortunately, we have no faith in the leaders of Greece to follow through. Instead, they will again promote “burden sharing” (i.e., migrant quotas).
The Visegrad and Central European states are realists and know the history of Greece regarding border security. Embracing EU solidarity on migration would guarantee unlimited migrants and endless relocation quotas.
Instead of foolishly relying on the leaders of Brussels or Greece, Viktor Orban and the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) took matters into their own hands by securing the Balkan route (the migrant pipeline from Greece to Germany) with the help of Macedonia.
Well-before Merkel decided to get involved, the Balkan route was secured by the various nation states. It may contain a few cracks, but it has worked brilliantly at cutting the migrant demand for Greece and protecting all Europeans.
The decision to close the Balkan route, which was initially opposed by Merkel, was the key to reducing the migrant flow to Central Europe. Visegrad must continue to expand and strengthen this effort.
Onward V4! Stay strong and united.