The Latest: 71 Syrians stopped trying to reach Greece by sea
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on migration issues in Europe (all times local):
Turkey’s coast guard says it stopped 71 Syrian migrants attempting to reach Greece.
The migrants were stopped in a rubber dinghy early Tuesday in Izmir province, on the Aegean sea, as they began their journey to the Greek island of Lesbos.
Turkey and the European Union struck a deal in March 2016 to stem the flow of migrants from Turkey’s western coasts. In the year before the deal, an estimated 1 million people crossed to Greece and nearly half landed on Lesbos. Hundreds drowned.
According to Turkish coast guard statistics, more than 5,000 migrants have been stopped so far this year, a fifth of the total number in 2016.
Romanian border police have detained 14 Syrian and Iraqi migrants in western Romania who are suspected of illegally trying to cross the border and head to the Schengen zone.
Police said in a statement they discovered the group of six men, six women and two minors early Tuesday on a field close to the Hungarian border.
They said the group was unable to “justify their presence in the area” and were taken for questioning. The adults are aged 18 to 60, accompanied by a 3-year-old and a teenager.
They told police they were trying to reach the Schengen visa-free travel zone. Romania isn’t in the Schengen zone, but Hungary is.
They are being questioned for attempted illegal border crossing.
Germany’s highest court has upheld a complaint by a Syrian whose asylum claim was rejected because he’d already been granted asylum in Greece.
The man, whose name wasn’t released, arrived in Germany in 2015. He told officials he had already been granted protection in Greece but had been living on the street there and received no support from the Greek government.
The man’s claim in Germany was rejected, meaning that he risked deportation to Greece. Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court said Tuesday that a lower court had wrongly failed to take account of a lack of welfare payments for refugees in Greece and to check whether there were assurances that the man would be given at least temporary housing.
Judges sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider.