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ATHENS, Greece – A Greek government official said Wednesday that there was no sign yet that a deal between the European Union and Turkey to stop migrants coming to Europe has faltered since the attempted military coup in the country.
Daily arrivals by migrants and refugees at Greek islands near the Turkish coast have remained low since the July 15 coup attempt, government crisis committee spokesman Giorgos Kyritsis told The Associated Press.
But he said the Greek government had renewed requests to the EU to end delays in emergency funding and the implementation of a relocation program for migrants stranded in Greece.
Tension has risen between Turkey and the EU over alleged large-scale human rights abuses following the coup attempt and prompted concern that the migrant deal could collapse.
The ongoing war in Syria helped trigger a dramatic rise in refugee crossings last year, with more than 2,000 people arriving per day on Greek islands last year. The number dropped sharply after border closures across the Balkans and after the EU-Turkey deal took effect in late March.
"So far, Turkey has not shown that it is not honoring the agreement. On some days we have 100 arrivals. On others, we have none at all. So no pattern has emerged." Kyritsis said.
"We continue to request that relocations are speeded up. The second issue is funding: Money promised is being paid out in small amounts and not regularly."
About 57,000 migrants and refugees remain stranded in Greece, most in army-built camps on the mainland.
Police in Wednesday said 400 migrants from Iraq's small Yazidi religious minority had left a 4,000-bed camp in northern Greece and were asking to be transferred to another site, telling authorities that they being mistreated by other camp dwellers.
It was unclear whether they would be moved from the camp, located near the northern town of Polykastro.
Costas Kantouris reported from Thessaloniki.
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