EU sticks by plans to return refugees from Monday, despite criticism

The European Commission still plans to begin Monday with the return of asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey, arguing that the required legal conditions will be in place by then, in response to criticism from the UN refugee agency and Amnesty International.

The commission is examining allegations that Turkey is sending Syrians back to the country and is raising the issue with Ankara, a commission spokeswoman says. The principle of not returning refugees to a country where they are at risk is a "red line" for the EU, she adds.

The European Union's executive is also doing all that is necessary to create the right conditions for refugees in Greece, the spokeswoman adds, while noting that this will "take time to materialize."

"We are aware that there are tensions, that there are capacity problems - this is precisely why we are there in the process of helping the Greek authorities to manage the situation," another spokeswoman notes.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

More from Europe

Norway: No suspects linked to stolen gate from former Nazi camp

Norwegian police said Saturday they had no suspects linked to the find of a gate believed to have been stolen in...

Scottish village gets 384,000-pound gift from former German POW

A village in Scotland has received a gift of 384,000 pounds (489,000 dollars) from a German soldier who was held...

German police record 877 attacks against refugee homes this year

There have been 877 attacks against refugee homes in Germany so far in 2016, police said Saturday, suggesting that...

Christmas tree thieves in Germany drunkenly stumble into police

Two drunk Christmas tree thieves in the south-western German city of Ulm were caught red-handed when they were...

Two migrants die in Austria while hiding in freight train

Two migrants have died in Austria while hiding in a goods train, police said on Saturday.