Austrian president doubts effectiveness of Turkish-EU refugee deal

Austria’s President Heinz Fischer has said he doubts that the agreement between the European Union and Turkey on refugee flow regulation will bring visible results.

Addressing the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasburg, Fischer noted that the EU will follow the process of implementation of the agreement.

Under the EU-Turkish deal, which entered into force March 20, migrants arriving illegally in Greece are expected to be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected. In exchange, the EU agreed to resettle up to 72,000 Syrian refugees under the so-called “one-for-one plan” directly from Turkey and speed up financial aid to help Turkey care for the Syrian refugees it is hosting.

The first boats carrying migrants, mainly from Pakistan, were deported from Greece to Turkey on April 5. Turkey has agreed to accept up to 500 migrants per day.

Earlier, Turkey’s Minister for the EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said that Ankara can refuse to accept Syrian refugees from the EU, it the latter doesn’t cancel the visa regime with Turkey.

Source: Trend