Greek PM accuses Turkey of violating refugee deal with Europe

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A lifebelt is seen on the beach of the port of Lesbos island on April 16, 2015. Since Greece bolstered controls along its land border with Turkey, along the Evros River, illegal immigrants have turned to the maritime route between Turkey and the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, notably Lesbos, Samos, Kos and Chios. 2015 started with a major increase in the number of Aegean crossings: 10,445 against 2,863 in the same period of 2014, according to the Greek port police. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt published on Monday that Turkey was violating the terms of its agreement with the European Union, signed at the peak of the refugee crisis in March 2016, to curb human trafficking across the Aegean, according to the Ekathimerini news website.

He described as “unacceptable” the Turkish Coast Guard’s failure to react when informed by Greek officials that boats with migrants have left the Turkish coast.

According to various reports the number of migrants crossing the Turkish-Greek border on their way to Europe has surged in recent months.

The European Union last week allocated millions of euros to bolster Turkey’s coast guard efforts to prevent migrant crossings.

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