Just hours before the controversial EU-Turkey migrant deal is due to fully come into force, there are still questions about whether Greece and Turkey are prepared for what many warn will be a chaotic operation.
We're not opposed to returns as long as people are not in need of international protection, they have not applied for asylum and human rights are adhered to
In Turkey, in the western town of Cesme, there are signs of some work underway to create processing centres for the thousands of migrants Brussels is hoping will be sent back from Greece.
Protests against migrants' presence staged in both Greece and Turkey,
CostasKantouris</a> reports <a href="https://t.co/TmsaPlUPQ4">https://t.co/TmsaPlUPQ4</a></p>— The Associated Press (AP) April 2, 2016
Sadullah Gökçekaya, one of the Turkish workers building the processing centres, told reporters: “We started on Friday. They said migrants will come from Greece.
“We will start to finish it today (Sunday). We may continue to work until 11 pm to get it ready.”
On the Greek island of Lesbos, where hundreds of thousands have flowed into Europe since last year, reporters say there has been little evidence of preparation work on the ground.
Violent clashes erupted in Greek refugee camps as as Greece pressed ahead to deport migrants to Turkey https://t.co/Jic3tBUe4x— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 1, 2016
A UNHCR spokesman on Lesbos, Boris Cheshirkov, said: “We feel that there are still deficiencies and gaps in both countries that need to be addressed.
“We’re not opposed to returns as long as people are not in need of international protection, they have not applied for asylum and human rights are adhered to.”
Migrants are still arriving in Greece and many of those stuck there are vowing they will not go to Turkey willingly.
Numerous human rights groups continue to criticise the plan, warning it is neither legal nor viable.
AFP news agency (@AFP) April 2, 2016