Germany demands Greece steps up deportations to Turkey amid growing migrant flow

Germany has urged Greece to increase its deportation of illegal migrants to Turkey, as well as for stronger efforts to curb migrant flow in general.

The call came after intense growth in the number of migrants arriving on Greek islands from Turkey. “We urgently need to make progress in small repatriations to Turkey, to improve the deteriorating conditions at certain hot spots on the islands,” said Stephan Meyer, an official in the German Interior Ministry. He also described the situation in Greek migrant destinations closest to Turkey as “very difficult.”

The latest wave has overwhelmed already-crowded Greek migrant facilities, prompting the government to adopt tougher measures which included accelerating and simplifying the deportation process.

Meyer also added that Turkey must “comprehensively implement“ the EU-Turkey migration pact.

The agreement struck in 2016 stipulates that Ankara must take back foreign illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who entered the EU territory from Turkey and whose requests have been rejected. It must also close all routes that enable migrants to cross into the EU under the pact.Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued the latest in a long series of threats to withdraw from the deal, this time over the establishment of the so-called safe zone in northern Syria.