Refugee ticking time bomb as Merkel”s EUTurkey deal is “close to collapse”


Around 50,000 refugees are currently in Greece which does not have the infrastructure to deal with them.

And there”s a massive backlog of 14,000 migrants on the Greek islands as asylum applications are plagued by problems leaving a gargantuan humanitarian crisis.

Last month around 4,000 asylum seekers were forced to flee a camp in the Aegean island of Lesbos after they set it on fire deliberately.

The blaze at the Moria camp left a trail of destruction and damaged tents and housing units.

At the time a police source said there was “no doubt” the fire that ripped through the facility had been started by a number of migrants who lived there.

But it left hundreds of children homeless.

Now critics are warning that Greek officials are not sending migrants back to Turkey over fears they will be mistreated.

Mrs Merkel personally negotiated the deal and promised Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an a visa waiver for his citizens as part of the original agreement. 

But Greece has returned 600 migrants in the first six months of the deal and it”s believed the vast majority went of their own volition.

Now as other countries strengthen their borders to prevent the free movement of people, the chief architects of the deal are forewarning it is close to dissolution.

Gerald Knaus, director of the European Stability Initiative who was involved in the negotiations said: “A failure of the deal would have serious consequences for Greece and would be a problem for the Western Balkans.

“But it would also be a problem for Merkel, the Dutch and others who face election campaigns next year.”

“Europeans often debate this subject on an emotional level without considering what the next step will be. 

“Martin Schulz can say there won’t be visa liberalisation for Turks, but we still need Turkey to keep the crisis from breaking out again in the Aegean.

“We’ve bought ourselves six months time and the numbers have fallen. 

“But what really keeps people from coming is not fear of risking their lives, but a sense that it’s hopeless to come. 

“That’s when the number of arrivals drops dramatically.”

And Elizabeth Collett, director of Brussels-based think tank Migration Policy Institute Europe told Politico she believes that while the message worked the reality is quite different.

She said: “As soon as the message worked, the interest in its actual implementation dropped significantly.

“Everyone who understands how these things work knows that it would have taken a lot of time to put into practice.”