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Lost in Migration

How Greece Is Becoming Europe's Nauru

Containers housing migrants on the Greek island of Chios, February 2016. Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

The days go by slowly on Chios, this island in the northeast Aegean Sea. A breeze sweeps the scent of jasmine and orange blossom across the landscape. Turkey's coast is visible just five miles away.

In the last year and a half, life has changed significantly here. Last fall, Chios—along with the Greek islands of Kos, Leros, Lesbos, and Samos—found itself in the path of an international humanitarian crisis as it became a transit point for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers bound for the European Union. Since the spring, the tide has mostly subsided thanks to a deal between the EU and Turkey. Ankara agreed to step up efforts to keep refugees from leaving on rubber boats to Greece and to accept failed asylum seekers returned from the Greek islands. In return, Turkey will get up to six billion euros to improve its refugee reception system. Turkey

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