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World

Refugees languish in Greek limbo

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Opening sequence

World

Refugees languish in Greek limbo

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COMING UP:Refugees languish in Greek limbo

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00:00:01
>> Frustration in Greece boiling over into this as overcrowded camps turn violent. Asylum seekers attacking a support office on the island of Lesbos protesting against delays in dealing with their claims, a symbol of a much wider problem. Seven months after the EU and Turkey struck a deal to turn back the tide of Syrians fleeing West, not a single refugee from that country has been sent back from Greece.
00:00:26
Under the terms anyone that's arrived since March must have their asylum claim processed and can't leave until that happens. Reuters correspondent in Athens Karolina Tagaris says there are about 61,000 migrants and refugees stranded in the country, with the islands particularly crowded.>> This is a process which can range from weeks to several months, really.
00:00:47
It's a painstaking process, which takes a lot of time. And as a result, there are about 15,000 refugees stranded on Greek islands close to Turkey since March.>> The EU is blaming Greece for the delay>> But Athens says its overwhelmed with the workload. Many who arrive here have no identity papers, which makes the process even harder.
00:01:09
>> The EU has repeatedly criticized Greece for being too slow to process the requests and send people back. Greece is saying it doesn't have enough staff to do it. And the European Union's saying that the problem isn't really the number of staff, but a complicated and lengthy appeals process which slow things down.
00:01:29
>> Asylum seekers complain they've received contradictory information and are frustrated by a lack of interpreters. Long waits in dirty camps have left thousands in limbo and question marks over whether the migrant deal can work in the long run.