: 50,000 migrants in Greece in turmoil over their fate as EU deal set to come into effect
Politics12:04 Apr. 3, 2016

50,000 migrants in Greece in turmoil over their fate as EU deal set to come into effect

Turkey has agreed to take back migrants in exchange for financial and political concessions

With a European Union deal to return rejected asylum seekers to Turkey set to come into effect - tensions are mounting. In northern Greece dozens of migrants blocked a highway in a bid to pressure EU states to reopen their borders.

They say they don't know what will happen to them.

Fatme, Migrant Protester From Aleppo, Syria: ''We have reached this point and we are asking, what is going to happen to us? I am asking all the countries, what is our fate? No one understands what we are going through except us. We who ran away from our country, not because we were hungry. We didn't leave because we were hungry. We left because there is a war. Is it our fate to die here also? No one is paying attention to us. Absolutely no one.''

Watch also Turks in seaside town protest EU-Turkey migrants return deal

The number of migrants stranded in Greece is now about 51,000. Most want to continue their journey to Western Europe. The latest Greek government figures show refugees are still arriving on the country's shores despite the European Union deal with Turkey to curb the flow.

In the Turkish port of Dikili meanwhile, preparations to implement the agreement are in full swing. But uncertainty remains over how many migrants will come, how they will be processed and where they will be housed. The mayor is confident everything will go smoothly.

Watch also Amnesty International is accusing Turkey of illegally sending refugees back to Syria

Mustafa Torun, Dikili Mayor: "They asked us to provide portable toilets and we immediately replied and brought two portable toilets here. There were two officials from the immigration office at the port and they said the registrations would be done at port before the migrants are taken (to repatriation centres). I told them the mayor's office would provide anything they need and I am reachable 24 hours."

Turkey agreed last month to take back all migrants and refugees who crossed informally into Greece after March 20. In exchange the country will recieve financial aid, quicker progress to visa-free travel for Turks and slightly accelerated EU membership talks.

Watch also Tourist numbers in Turkey take biggest fall in a decade over security fears


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