Bangladeshi migrants among 150 held in Lesbos

Bangladeshi migrants among 150 held in Lesbos


A first group of 150 migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh late on Monday were transferred – handcuffed and under police escort – from the island’s registration centre to a passenger ferry that would take them to the mainland by early morning.They had arrived on Lesbos on Sunday and would be taken to immigration offices in Athens, a police spokesman said.Following migrants influx, Greece asked its European partners on Monday for help implementing a deal with Turkey meant to stem an influx of migrants into Europe, as hundreds more – many unaware of the new rules – streamed from their boats onto Greek islands.For months the epicentre of Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since World War Two, Greece is struggling to effect the logistics operation needed to process asylum applications from hundreds of migrants still arriving daily along its shoreline.Turkish officials arrived on the island of Lesbos on Monday to help put the deal into practice.

Anyone who arrived after March 20 must be held until their papers are processed and those deemed ineligible are to be sent back to Turkey from April 4.Under the EU-Turkey roadmap agreed last Friday, a plan must be made by March 25 and some 4,000 personnel – more than half from other European Union member states – deployed to the islands by next week.“We must move very swiftly and in a coordinated manner over the next few days to get the best possible result,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after meeting EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in Athens.“Assistance in human resources must come quickly.”Avramopoulos said France, Germany and the Netherlands had already pledged logistics and personnel.“We are at a crucial turning point … The management of the refugee crisis for Europe as a whole hinges on the progress and success of this agreement,” he said.However, on Monday, the day after the formal start of an agreement intended to close off the main route through which a million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe last year, authorities said 1,662 people had arrived on Greek islands by 7 a.m. (0500 GMT), twice the official count of the day before.


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