Migrants paying the price in Europe says Caritas

Migrants are paying a heavy price in Europe because of an agreement made a year ago between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, says Caritas

The agreement aimed to stem the flow of migrants and refugees seeking protection in Europe.

Caritas says the agreement has left thousands of vulnerable people stranded in degrading conditions in Greece.

Others are being forced to take dangerous alternative routes as they seek EU protection.

The agreement is financially beneficial to Turkey.

Caritas says Ankara agreed to stop asylum seekers from crossing by sea to the Greek islands in return for three billion euros in aid.

This money was to deal with the three million Syrian refugees who are living in Turkey.

Caritas says the aim was to return Syrian refugees who had reached the Greek islands to Turkey.

Syrian asylum seekers in Turkey were to be resettled in the EU.

“Today, thousands find themselves in a limbo,” Leïla Bodeux of Caritas says.

The agreement “basically tries to fast-track returns of migrants from Europe to Turkey”.

At the same time, the situation for refugees and migrants who have reached Greece is “dire and horrendous” she says.

Health is poor, fatal tent fires have occurred when people have been trying to keep warm and people are anxious.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable, she says.


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