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Incidents on the Greek-Turkish border

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Mitglieder des US-Militärs installieren in Laredo, Texas, Stacheldraht am Ufer des Rio Grande. Foot: Eric Gay/AP Foto: Eric Gay

At the Greek-Turkish border, there have been further incidents at the Kastanies / Pazarkule crossing. A group of around 200 refugees felled a tree last night and damaged the border fence on the Greek side. The Greek security forces used tear gas and secured the job, the state radio reported.

Turkey declared at the end of February that the border with the European Union was open to migrants. As a result, thousands of people set out to get from Turkey to Greece and thus to the EU. Greece did not let them pass, however, and suspended asylum applications. Meanwhile, Greek police officers estimate that there are only a few hundred people left on the Turkish side of the border.

Athens brings refugees to the mainland

The government in Athens continues to bring hundreds of refugees to mainland Greece, who are housed in closed camps for deportation to their countries of origin. A total of 600 migrants from the islands of Samos, Chios and Lesbos were brought to a camp in northern Greece over the weekend, according to reports from public service broadcasters. Last week, more than 400 had been brought to a camp in Athens.

According to the information, they are migrants who came to Greece from Turkey after March 1. The Greek government denies them the right to apply for asylum and wants to expel them to their countries of origin.

Knaus wants to evacuate Greek refugee camps

In view of the spread of the corona virus in Greece, the Austrian migration researcher Gerald Knaus, a co-developer of the EU-Turkey agreement, is calling for the refugee camps there to be cleared. It is important to prevent maybe thousands of coronavirus infections and deaths among refugees, Knaus told the „Standard“ (Monday edition). To date, over 530 cases of coronavirus infections have been registered in Greece.

In the crowded Camp Moria on the Aegean island of Lesbos, 1,300 refugees would have to share a tap, “most of them cannot even wash their hands regularly. Many live in makeshift tents and have no chance of isolating themselves from one another to avoid infection, ”says Knaus. Mass migration and panic would be the consequences, even among the local population, warns the migration expert. He therefore advocated a redistribution of those seeking protection to mainland Greece, as has long been demanded by aid organizations. From there, they should then be distributed to other EU countries.