03:03 GMT +315 November 2019
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    A Frontex officer (L) escorts a migrant as he boards a Turkish-flagged passenger boat to be returned to Turkey, on the Greek island of Lesbos, April 4, 2016.

    Frontex to Boost 200-Strong Greece Presence to Ensure Migrant Deportation

    © REUTERS / Giorgos Moutafis
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    More than 200 officers of the EU border agency Frontex are currently deployed on the Greek islands with over 100 additional personnel coming to the country this week to ensure transportation of migrants under the EU-Turkey migrant action plan, a spokesperson for Frontex told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, the March deal between the European Union and Turkey, under which Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for asylum seekers from Syria, on a one-for-one basis, came into force with first 202 migrants being transported from the islands of Lesbos and Chios to Turkey.

    “Frontex currently deploys 213 escort officers on the islands. Over 100 additional officers are expected to arrive in the coming days,” Paulina Bakula said.

    "At present the number is assessed as sufficient to address the current needs," Frontex representative stated.

    She added that, additionally to over 200 officers directly involved in transportation process, Frontex also deploys 738 crew members of patrol vessels, helicopters, fingerprinting officers, debriefers and screeners as a part of the Joint Operation Poseidon Rapid Intervention, which Frontex coordinates in Greece.

    The Turkey-EU deal has been criticized by refugee agencies and human rights campaigners, who have questioned whether Turkey can be considered a safe country for refugees. On Monday, Greek media reported that hundreds of refugees were protesting on the Greek island of Chios and in other parts of the country against their deportation to Turkey under the migrant action plan.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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