Turkey to end migrant checks at Greek border, says Europol

Turkish guards will reduce or completely stop checks at migrant crossing points at the border with Greece, the European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol, said in its annual report on undocumented migration.

Turkey is looking to reduce the number of refugees and migrants it is holding and Ankara will launch new efforts to push migrants to Greece, especially through the Greek islands, said the National Herald, who cited the report.

Turkey is home to about 5.5 million refugees and migrants, including 3.7 million from neighbouring Syria. 

Ankara had agreed to prevent attempted crossings into Europe following a 2.3-billion euro deal with the EU in 2016, but in March, Turkey announced that it would stop policing the border, prompting an influx of thousands of migrants at its northeastern frontier with Greece. 

Violent clashes erupted soon after between Greek police and migrants. Greek officials in March said they had stopped nearly 10,000 migrants crossing the land border with Turkey.

The Europol report arrives as Greece's Asylum Service prepares to receive new applications on May 18 after a months-long suspension of services, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Saturday.

https://www.thenationalherald.com/greece_politics/arthro/turkey_ending_migrant_border_checks_greece_reopening_asylum_review-316306/