A year on, key EU-Turkey migration deal looks wobbly

March 17, 2017 - 12:37 pm

LESBOS, Greece (AP) — The waters off the Greek island of Lesbos once echoed with the shrieks of people drowning as they struggled to reach Europe and the thrumming of rescue helicopters.

A coastguard patrol Friday encountered nothing more alarming than a few fishing boats.

A year-old deal to stem uncontrolled migration between Turkey and Greece's eastern islands explains why.

Since the European Union and Turkey reached a deal to dissuade migrants to cross the Mediterranean, the number of new arrivals has dropped from 1 million annually to under 25,000.

Turkey's recent diplomatic fight with the Netherlands and Germany over allowing visiting Turkish officials to campaign for a referendum that would expand the president's authority threatens to scuttle the agreement.

The agreement hinges on Turkey taking back people attempting the crossing.

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