EU Praises Year-Old Migrant Deal with Turkey

AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

ROME (AP) — The European Union is praising its migrant agreement with Turkey, one year after the deal officially entered force.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that “the EU-Turkey statement was a game changer which allowed us to break the cruel business model of smugglers exploiting human misery and putting people’s lives in danger.”

Rights group Amnesty International says the deal is “a shameful stain on the collective conscience of Europe” that has led to “the suffering of thousands of refugees and migrants.”

The International Rescue Committee says it is “eroding the rights” of refugees, exposing them to abuse.

Schinas shrugged off the criticism, saying that despite the many complaints no one has come up with “viable alternatives that would have saved as many lives.”