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First migrants returned to Turkey from Greece

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:25

Greece deports the first group of migrants to Turkey as a landmark EU deal to stop the influx into Europe kicks in. Julie Noce reports.

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A boat arrives on the horizon in Turkey from the Greek island Lesbos. On board - the first group of migrants being returned under a landmark EU deal that went into affect on Monday, April 4th. About 130 migrants were bussed to the Greek port at daybreak where they boarded two ships to take them back to Turkey. Under the plan, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who entered Greece illegally after March 20th. Monday's migrants were primarily from Bangladesh and Pakistan, and had not applied for asylum. Ewa Moncure is the spokesperson for the EU border agency Frontex. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPOKESPERSON FOR EU BORDER AGENCY FRONTEX EWA MONCURE SAYING: The procedure was very calm, everything was very orderly. The migrants were put on buses, and when the buses were ready, the buses came here to the harbour. For accepting the returned migrants and refugees, the EU will reward Turkey with more money, early visa-free travel, and has promised to take in thousands of Syrians. The uncontrollable influx of people fleeing war has put a massive strain on Europe with more than one million people making their way through Greece in 2015. But plan's success is uncertain. Even as the first deportations were underway Monday, a Turkish coast guard intercepted dozens of people trying to get to Lesbos.

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First migrants returned to Turkey from Greece

Monday, April 04, 2016 - 01:25