The Zoe File – Today is a dark day for Europe.

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The EU has struck a deal so that, beginning tomorrow, refugees who come ashore can be returned to Turkey, a country that doesn’t entirely adhere to the UN Refugee Convention. There they will join the (literally) millions of other refugees who rely on a frail support system which leaves many on the streets.

For those of you in places where the news does not deliver word of the squalid conditions and devastating uncertainties refugees face in Greece: the EU has turned its back on the helpless, the war-fleeing, the unimaginably vulnerable.

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Everyday I talk to lawyers, engineers, architects, people who can speak five languages, teachers, children, great-grandmothers, who have fled violence and arrive in Chios to sleep on the floors of dirty buildings without privacy or a certain future. The deals struck have imposed more hurdles for these innocent people.

The EU has already been accused of breaking code enacted after the Holocaust. And while the deals are mauled over, only Syrian nationals are discussed. What about the Afghans and Iraqis, how will Yemenis be treated?

And why is Turkey okay with it all? Well, they’ll receive billions of euros and a shot at becoming part of the increasingly racist EU club.

Tonight on this small island called Chios we expect many to come in inflatable dinghies as 100 000+ already have. The clock is ticking and stricter laws will divide those arriving now and those arriving in a day’s time. They emptied thousands from the five different camps in Chios this afternoon. We waved goodbye to ferries full of people who are currently enroute to Athens, where there is no room for refugees.

The world has heard the EU today, and we should be ashamed.

Zoë Caddell

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