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Greece clears out Lesbos 'hot spots' centres as EU deal comes in effect

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 00:58

A passenger ferry carries migrants from Lesbos island to Greece's mainland on day one of a controversial EU - Turkey deal. Rough cut - subtitled. (No reporter narration.)

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A passenger ferry with 1,433 migrants onboard left the port of Mytilene in Lesbos on Sunday (March 20) bound for the Greek mainland. Greece is trying to empty out registration centres on the island as a new EU-Turkey deal comes into effect. The ferry will carry the migrants to the port of Elefsina, near the Greek capital Athens, and from there they will be transferred to shelters set up by Greek authorities in various regions across the country. Under the European Union deal with Turkey clinched on Friday (March 18) all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who cross to Greece illegally by sea from Sunday (March 20) will be sent back to Turkey once they are registered and their asylum claims have been processed. Authorities in Lesbos began removing refugees and migrants already on the island on Saturday (March 19) to make space for new arrivals. The island has a capacity to host 3,500 people at a place set up to register arrivals. Under the pact, Turkey would take back all illegal migrants who cross to Greece, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.

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Greece clears out Lesbos 'hot spots' centres as EU deal comes in effect

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 00:58