The European Union will pay € 2,000 to migrants in Greece who voluntarily decide to return home. EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson announced this.
Payments will be made to migrants who were in the EU before January 1. In total, five thousand refugees will be able to count on payments. They have one month to make a decision.
Johansson paid special attention to the children of migrants. She said that seven EU member states have agreed to take at least 1,600 children from refugee camps. The BBC, regarding Doctors without borders, notes that there are more than 14,000 children on the Greek Islands off the coast of Turkey.
There are about 42,000 migrants in these refugee camps, which are designed for six thousand people. Among them are Syrian citizens, as well as Afghans, Pakistanis, and natives of West African countries. Greece has suspended the processing of asylum applications.
After the situation worsened in the Syrian province of Idlib, Turkey announced that it would open the border with the EU to refugees. Currently, there are 3.7 million Syrian citizens in the country. On March 8, the Turkish authorities announced that they would block attempts by migrants to enter the EU. Ankara accused Athens of failing to cope with the flow of migrants, as Greece sent boats with refugees back to Turkey.
Greece is trying to combat illegal spontaneous migration by installing sea barriers with a height of just over a meter and with night lighting. In addition, the country has increased the number of border guards in the area of the Greek Islands.