For the first time since the EU-Turkey refugee deal of March 2016, this winter more people have been allowed to leave the Greek Aegean islands for the European mainland than were reaching them from Turkey: 8 380 arrivals and 9 768 departures were registered between November 2017 and end of February 2018. But while this is only a small progress, it will certainly not last.
With spring on the horizon, arrivals should rise again. These newcomers will join the hundreds of people stuck in limbo in Samos and other islands. Meanwhile, those who have reached the continent can't continue their journeys.