BERLIN – The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):
Greece has sent 51 people, including five children, back to Turkey from Greek islands as part of the European Union-Turkey agreement to stem the flow of migrants across the Aegean Sea toward Europe’s prosperous heartland.
Police said 23 people were sent back to the Turkish port of Dikili on Friday and another 28 to the Turkish port of Gulluk. The returnees were from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Nepal and Morocco.
The new returns bring to 441 the number of people sent back to Turkey under the controversial EU deal that stipulates those arriving on Greek islands after March 20 face deportation unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.
More than 54,000 people are now stranded in Greece since European nations closed their land borders to refugees.
The Dutch embassy in Tirana says that 30 more Albanian asylum-seekers have been deported to their home country.
A statement Friday said that 500 Albanians have been deported this year from a total of 1,650 Albanians who have sought asylum in the Netherlands in the past nine months.
It said that many of them go to the Netherlands from other European countries “through human trafficking channels and traffickers in Western Europe,” adding they have no chance of getting asylum.
Since 2010 Albanians can travel to EU countries without a visa.
Last year some 66,000 Albanians asked for asylum in EU countries in search of better living standards and jobs, most of them in Germany, which has also deported a few thousand of them.
Police in the northern German port city of Cuxhaven have stopped dozens of migrants from stowing away on freighters heading to Britain in recent months.
The local daily Cuxhavener Nachrichten reported Friday that Germany’s border police have been monitoring the phenomenon since last fall. It quoted police spokesman Holger Jureczko saying the young men, mostly from Albania and Kosovo, had repeatedly tried to climb over security fences to reach trucks being loaded onto freighters.
Three Albanians who had travelled to England illegally were sent back to Cuxhaven on Monday.
Jureczko said police and port operators had increased security measures, and authorities believe they are apprehending the majority of illegal migrants now.