Greeks and migrants stage a protest and march in Athens calling for a change in the migration policies of the European Union one year after the EU-Ankara deal came into force. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. More than 2,000 Greeks and migrants staged a rally in Athens on Saturday (March 18) over a deal between the European Union and Turkey designed to stem the flow of undocumented migrants. A year after the agreement took effect, men, women and children, including many migrants who have been stranded in Greece after the border closures along the Balkan 'migrant' route, took to the streets of the Greek capital and chanting "Open the borders" marched to the parliament and the offices of the European Union. The protesters said that the EU-Ankara agreement was exposing people fleeing war, poverty and persecution to risk, abuse and harsh living conditions in the migrant camps and called on EU leaders to change their policies and cancel the deal. The EU-Ankara deal came into force on March 20, 2016 after more than a million refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond reached Europe in 2015, crossing over to Greek islands from Turkey. Under the deal, anyone who crosses into Greece without documents can be deported to Turkey unless they qualify for asylum in Greece. From the onset, the EU-Turkey agreement has been fiercely criticised by United Nations refugee and human rights agencies, as well as rights groups, as immoral and a violation of international humanitarian law against blanket returns.