Migrants wait to disembark from Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, March 17, 2018. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
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The number of people applying for asylum in Europe has dropped to levels similar to those seen before the wave of migrant arrivals in 2015, the European Union's statistics agency said Tuesday.Eurostat said almost 650,000 people applied for asylum in the 28 EU nations for the first time last year – around half the number of applicants in 2015 when hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Syrians, arrived.Tuesday, Greek and international aid groups slammed a two-year deal between the EU and Turkey that has left thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in severely overcrowded camps on Greek islands.In return for helping Europe, Brussels promised Turkey fast-track EU membership talks, visa-free travel for its citizens and up to 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to help Ankara deal with almost 3 million refugees on its territory.
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