Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking to the EU committee on Friday.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven speaking to the EU committee on Friday. Credit: Sören Andersson/TT

EU migrant deal: Sweden ready to assist Greece

Sweden is prepared to assist Greece with ships, aircraft and personnel such as border police, interpreters and case workers to help the country carry out the EU's newly agreed upon refugee plan which could see all refugees travelling to Greece from Turkey sent back.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, EU leaders eventually agreed on a joint position ahead of Friday's talks with Turkey on how to solve the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.

The draft proposal calls for refugees travelling to Greece from Turkey to be sent back. Turkey would be remunerated for this financially and would possibly be granted visa-free access to Schengen countries, according to Swedish Radio News.

The proposed deal would require all member states to chip in and help Greece, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told Swedish Televison on Thursday.

"This is a joint task that all 28 member states will have to carry out together so it is only natural that Sweden contributes, too," Löfven said.

EU leaders also propose that refugees should have to seek asylum in Turkey, even before entering Europe, and have previously called for that one Syrian would be resettled in the EU for each Syrian refugee that is returned to Turkey. Prime Minister Löfven said that this would be a huge logistic challenge, but that it is necessary in order to stop migrant deaths on the Aegean Sea.

"We need to put a stop to this unregulated and very dangerous flow of people over the Mediterranean," Löfven said.

It remains to be seen, however, how much the EU's joint position will be watered down if the EU and Turkey manage to reach a final deal on Friday.

More 130,000 refugees have reached Greece by boat from Turkey this year alone, according to BBC News.

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