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Europe in disarray over migrants

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Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Wed 02 Sep 2015, 12:53

For much of the past five years, Europe has been on edge; the crisis in the eurozone was seen as threatening the entire European project.

Leaders lined up to warn that: "If the euro fails, then Europe fails."

Now, in a brief passage of time, everything has changed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the migrant crisis "will challenge us far more than Greece and the stability of the euro".

In Europe, the largest numbers of refugees is on the move since the aftermath of World War Two. An estimated 3,000 people a day are trying to make their future in Europe.

The crisis has overwhelmed Europe's leaders. There is no plan.

Existing rules for processing people where they arrive have been discarded.

Temporary border controls have re-emerged on what are supposed to be passport-free borders. Fences are being strengthened.

There is tension and finger-pointing. One prime minister accused other leaders of "not telling the truth" about the migrants.

There will be an emergency meeting of interior ministers on 14 September.

It may well be followed by a summit of Europe's leaders.

Tough decisions ahead

What is clear is that the heads of government will face some hugely sensitive decisions that will determine whether an open Europe can survive.

This is a crisis that has been building for many years.

Europe has been torn between upholding its values of protecting the vulnerable from war and persecution and wanting to limit the numbers at a time when 18 million people in the eurozone are without work. Youth unemployment is still at 21.9%.

For a long period, migration has been dealt with by deception and a political sleight of hand.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Attempts by migrants in Calais to travel to the UK have provoked much media coverage

Under the Dublin Regulation, refugees should be screened in the country in which they arrive.

Until recently, the majority of migrants were arriving off the coast of Italy.

Under the rules, they were supposed to be fingerprinted and their application for asylum processed.

As the numbers increased, the rules in many cases were abandoned.

Many migrants were given papers and waved through. Within 24 hours, as we discovered on one occasion, they were crossing the Austrian border.

Many were heading for Sweden which had opened its doors to refugees, particularly those from the war in Syria.

The system for processing refugees was broken but moving people on reduced the political pressure inside Italy.

And in any case, it was not fair for Italy and Greece to shoulder the burden alone for dealing with a humanitarian crisis on this scale.

Succession of tragedies

Then in 2013, there was the tragedy off Lampedusa when 300 people, mainly from Eritrea and Somalia, lost their lives within sight of the Italian island.

Other tragedies followed and Europe deployed more ships to patrol the Mediterranean.

Privately many European leaders wrestled with a dilemma.

There was the humanitarian imperative to save lives but there was a risk that the safer they made the Mediterranean crossing, the more people would be tempted to make the journey.

Publicly they did not say that their actions would bring more migrants to Europe.

They promised to go after the traffickers who were operating from Libya's lawless coast.

It sounded - as it was meant to - that military action against the traffickers would ease the problem.

That mission is still in its first phase - intelligence-gathering.

For tens of thousands of people, Europe became a place of safety and opportunity and they were prepared to risk everything to get there.

They understood that if they reached Europe there was little risk of them being sent back.

Already thousands of people from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq were on the move.

Syrian conflict

Their numbers were swelled by refugees from the war in Syria.

Some four million Syrians have fled their country and many are living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps. Europe is their dream.

The potential scale of the problem is immense. The UN says the number of displaced people around the world is nearly 60 million.

In Europe, the two countries that took in the majority of these refugees were Germany and Sweden. Germany processed 43% of all existing asylum applications.

Gradually, the migrant routes changed.

There were still people crossing the Mediterranean but many more were heading to Greece from Turkey and then using a land route through Macedonia, the Western Balkans to Germany.

And despite the horrific journeys, many more families and children were found walking or packed in cars and vans.

Germany was generous in the welcome it gave those fleeing the brutal conflict in Syria.

Political leaders portrayed its open door policy as reflecting European values.

It helps that Germany needs workers - there are nearly 600,000 unfilled posts in the country.

Internal tensions

There have been some protests over the new arrivals.

More than 200 acts of aggression against refugees or the centres where they are living have been reported.

Even though she was booed in one community in eastern Germany, Angela Merkel was defiant when she told the crowd: "There can be no tolerance for those people who question the dignity of others, who are not willing to help where legal and human help is required."

But then Germany's interior minister revealed that Germany might accept 800,000 migrants this year. The figures seemed to be growing on a daily basis.

And some were almost certainly economic migrants. A third of those arriving in Germany were from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia.

Mrs Merkel said at the weekend that "in order to be able to help those in distress, we also must tell those who are not in distress that they cannot stay with us".

The sheer scale of the crisis has left politicians floundering for answers.

The German chancellor has said: "If we don't succeed in fairly distributing refugees, then of course the Schengen question will be on the agenda for many."

What Angela Merkel was hinting at was that passport-free travel (a principle enshrined in the Schengen agreement) could be challenged.

Way forward

So what is to be done?     Read more:

Related links:

One day across destination Europe
   2 September 2015

From Turkey to Sweden: Syrian migrant's perilous journey
   1 September 2015

Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum?
   1 September 2015

Five obstacles to an EU migrants deal
   31 August 2015

The battle over the words used to describe migrants
   28 August 2015

Why the paralysis on migrant crisis?
   28 August 2015

Migrants follow perilous route to Germany
   26 August 2015

Migrants: What can Europe achieve?
   16 June 2015

Are more people on the move?
   28 May 2015

Is military force the solution?
   18 May 2015

The Med's migrant survivors
   23 April 2015

Who are the people smugglers?
   23 April 2015
In depth report
   22 April 2015
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Fri 04 Sep 2015, 13:23

Migrant crisis: Walking through Budapest's train station camp

A tense stand-off between police and migrants on a train in Hungary is continuing into a second day.

On Thursday, police let the migrants board the train in Budapest but then tried to force them off at a refugee camp to the west of the capital.

In the capital, the BBC's Matthew Price filmed the scene at the international railway station where migrants remain, hoping to get on trains heading to other parts of Europe.

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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Fri 04 Sep 2015, 15:02

In pictures: An emotional arrival in Europe

   30 August 2015

More than half of the 264,500 people who have crossed the Mediterranean in the hope of settling in Europe this year have arrived in Greece - and most of those have landed on the five Greek islands closest to the Turkish coast. Photographer Fernando Del Berro watched some of them arrive on the northern shore of Lesbos.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Fri 04 Sep 2015, 15:03

10 moving photos of Europe's migrant crisis

   4 September 2015

The photographs of a three-year-old Syrian boy found dead on a beach in Turkey are among the most powerful to have emerged from Europe's migrant crisis.

But many other moving pictures have been taken over the years, illustrating the dangers of the migrants' journey or the treatment they have received on arrival in Europe.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Fri 04 Sep 2015, 15:57

MILAN (AP) — The feared drowning of 400 migrants in a shipwreck this week in the Mediterranean Sea — one of the deadliest such tragedies in the last decade — raised alarms Wednesday amid an unprecedented wave of migration toward Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

This report from 5 months ago (April 15, 2015)

The U.N. refugee agency expressed shock at the scale of the deaths in Monday's capsizing and renewed calls on European governments to redouble search and rescue efforts, while the International Organization for Migration maintained that the situation had reached "crisis proportions."

The Mediterranean "has emerged as the most dangerous" of four major sea routes used by the world's refugees and migrants, taken by 219,000 people last year, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said.

The Italian Coast Guard rescued some 140 people of the coast of Libya on Monday and recovered nine bodies, but could see immediately from the size of the capsized smuggler's boat that there had likely been hundreds more on board.

The rescue was made during a five-day surge that saw Italian ships save nearly 10,000 people at sea since Friday — an unprecedented rate in such a short period, according to Cmdr. Filippo Marini, a Coast Guard spokesman. The number is only likely to grow, with summer weather encouraging even more people fleeing poverty and conflict to make the perilous crossing.

Survivors of Monday's shipwreck reported that as many as 550 people were on board, according to aid workers. "Of course this is an estimate. No one who travels knows exactly the number. They don't get a ticket that says: No. 550," said Barbara Molinario, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman in Italy.

Accounts by survivors, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, indicate the ship capsized when men on the upper deck rushed to wave down a ship they believed to be a rescue vessel, said IOM spokesman Joel Millman in Geneva.

"Many were waving and gesticulating to get attention and that caused the vessel to capsize, with the speculation that women and children who were below deck were drowned instantly," Millman said. The rescued migrants arrived Wednesday at the southern Italian port of Corigliano, where aid workers dressed in white protective jumpsuits, gloves and masks worked to process them.

A precise accounting of the number of dead will never be known: The search operation was called off after the recovery of just nine bodies due to the depth of the sea, meaning there will be no body count to verify survivors' accounts, as is nearly always the case.

"For all of these things, we rely on the consistency of the reports we get, but we know these people have been traumatized and through terrible things," Millman said. The UNHCR estimates 3,500 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, up from 600 in 2013. With few bodies recovered, many deaths are never officially confirmed. Instead, their fates are recounted by survivors and, in cases when boats are lost at sea without any rescue attempt, by relatives who report their failure to arrive in Europe.

So far this year, the number of dead or missing at sea is 900, according to the UNHCR, compared with just 17 over the same time last year. Typically, the arrival of migrants making the perilous journey goes up in April as the weather improves, increasing concerns about the coming months.

Overall, since 2000, the IOM estimates that over 22,000 migrants have lost their lives trying to reach Europe, although there are no precise figures. The U.N. refugee agency is compiling a list of all such incidents since 2011, but Molinario declined to disclose figures because they are just estimates.

She cited a boat with 250 people that departed north Africa in June 2013, according to relative reports, and never arrived in Italy, and the appearance on Libyan shores last August of 15 bodies that led to a search effort that recovered a total of 60 bodies that otherwise would have gone uncounted.

"We take it very seriously if various families call in with the same information: 'My relatives were on the boat with 300 people.' When we get 10 or 15 calls with the same data, there is no reason we shouldn't believe a boat departed on that day," Molinario said.

Far less common are shipwrecks near shore, like the one near Lampedusa on Oct. 3, 2013, when divers recovered more than 360 bodies. About a week later another boat sank off Malta, with about 200 dead, most never recovered.

"Lampedusa caught the world's attention because it was the first time it was possible to recover that many bodies, and the reason for that is it happened a few miles from the coast and the water was shallow enough for a recovery operation to occur," Molinario said.

The twin tragedies focused world outrage and prompted Italy to create a search and rescue operation to patrol the high seas, dubbed Mare Nostrum, or Our Sea. It was scrapped late last year under political pressure in the cash-strapped nation, which was spending $10 million (9.5 million euros) a month on the program. In its place, Europe has responded with border patrols that often take far longer to reach distressed vessels on the high seas.

Monday's tragedy "only demonstrates how important it is to have a robust rescue-at-sea mechanism in the central Mediterranean," said Guterres, the U.N. refugee commissioner. "Unfortunately Mare Nostrum was never replaced by an equivalent capacity to rescue people."

Guterres also called for legal avenues for refugees needing protection to travel to Europe, including emergency visas. Marini, the Italian Coast Guard spokesman, declined to speculate on what lies ahead for the summer given the improved weather conditions and increased departures of migrants. "We are observing the situation, and we have seen significant numbers (of rescues) in just five or six days," he said.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Mon 07 Sep 2015, 13:13

The Latest: Italy retrieves 60 bodies from April disaster

BERLIN (AP) — The latest news as countries across Europe cope with the arrival of thousands of migrants and refugees.

Smoke billows from a asylum seekers shelter in Rottenburg am Neckar, southern Germany, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Five people were injured in the fire. Police couldn't give immediately a reason for the fire. (Marijan Murat/dpa via AP)

September 07, 2015

1:30 p.m. Two Italian navy ships have ferried to shore 60 bodies of migrants from the April shipwreck in which as many as 800 perished. The navy says the corpses, transported Monday to Sicily, bring to 118 the number of bodies recovered using navy divers and robots.

Prosecutors who viewed film taken by divers of the boat's interior say the images support testimony from the few survivors that some 800 people were aboard when the vessel capsized as rescuers approached, with hundreds trapped in the hold.

The body retrieval operation is in its third month. Meanwhile, Italy's coast guard was searching the waters between Libya and Sicily after 107 survivors rescued from an overcrowded dinghy told authorities some 20 persons fell overboard and their smugglers wouldn't stop to pick them up.

12:25 p.m.

Scuffles broke out early Monday between Macedonian police and thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to head north toward Europe.

About 2,000 people had gathered at the Greek border near the village of Idomeni just after dawn, attempting to cross into Macedonia. But Macedonian authorities were allowing only small groups to cross every half hour, leading to tension. The situation later calmed after more were allowed to cross, with about 1,000 having passed the border by mid-day.

Greek police said about 5,000 people had crossed the border heading north in the 24 hours from Sunday morning to Monday morning.

Scuffles at the border have become near-daily as an increasing wave of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and parts of Asia have headed to Greece from Turkey, aiming to cross the Balkans overland toward Austria, Germany and Scandinavia.

11:55 a.m.

Greece's migration minister says at least two-thirds of the estimated 15,000-18,000 refugees and economic migrants stranded in "miserable" conditions on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos will be ferried to the mainland in the next five days.

Giannis Mouzalas told state ERT1 TV extra ferries were laid on Monday to transport the migrants, while some ships will serve as temporary screening and reception centers.

Lesbos bears the brunt of the refugee influx, with more than 1,000 arriving daily on frail boats from nearby Turkey. Most remain stuck there for days, sleeping outdoors until they can be identified, and then find berths on crowded ferries to the mainland.

Greece's caretaker government, appointed ahead of elections Sept. 20, has set the problem as its main priority, significantly improving its predecessors' stumbling efforts to deal with the influx.

11:45 a.m.

Spanish media say police fired rubber bullets at migrants in a detention center in the southern city of Valencia after about 50 tried to escape.

Media including the leading El Pais and El Mundo newspapers say the disturbance started late Sunday night when a guard was assaulted and migrants took his keys. Reports say some went on to the roof of the building and threw stones and branches at guards while others burned mattresses in an outdoor area of the center.

Authorities responded with rubber bullets and put down the disturbance about two hours after it started.

Spanish media say most migrants at the Valencia detention center are from sub-Saharan Africa.

11:20 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande says his country will welcome 24,000 refugees. In a speech ahead of a wide-ranging press conference, the Socialist says taking in those fleeing war is a duty that France is ready to shoulder.

He said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had agreed upon a mechanism to distribute refugees across Europe.

11 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Monday that "we have a moving, in some parts breathtaking, weekend behind us."

Merkel said Germany will ensure that those who need protection receive it, but that those who stand no chance of getting asylum will have to return to their homes swiftly.

She also stressed that Europe's biggest economy isn't willing to shoulder the whole refugee burden alone, saying that "Germany is a country willing to take people in, but refugees can be received in all countries of the European Union in such a way that they can find refuge from civil war and from persecution."

10:50 a.m.

Greece says it has requested emergency European Union assistance to deal with the massive influx of refugees and migrants who reach its eastern islands daily on frail boats from nearby Turkey.

More than 230,000 people have arrived so far, at a rapidly increasing pace, and have overwhelmed authorities in the financially struggling country that has become Europe's main gateway for migrants.

The Interior Ministry said Monday it has applied for activation of a European mechanism for civil protection assistance, which it said would be of "crucial importance" in improving migrants' reception facilities — which are, at best, rudimentary.

A ministry statement said Greece has provided detailed information on what it needs in terms of medical and pharmaceutical supplies, equipment for reception centers, clothing and personnel.

10:20 a.m.

Hungary's prime minister has mocked the European Union's efforts to distribute migrants with a quota system and is casting Hungary as the "black sheep" standing up against EU leaders in contrast with the other countries in the "flock."

Viktor Orban told a meeting of Hungarian diplomats on Monday that the EU migrant quota, which would distribute migrants among the bloc's 28 countries, makes no sense in a system where the free movement of people would make it impossible to enforce.

Orban said "How is this going to work? Has anyone thought this through?"

Orban also said that migrants who had kept going after reaching safe countries like Turkey or Macedonia "want to live a German life. It has nothing to do with security."

10:15 a.m.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce plans to accept more than 10,000 Syrian refugees in a change of heart announced last week after dramatic photos showed the plight of refugees trying to enter Europe.

Cameron plans to outline his proposal when Parliament reconvenes after its summer recess. His government has indicated that the international aid budget will be used to help Syrians get started in Britain.

The number of refugees to be resettled has not yet been announced.

The government plans to bring refugees from camps neighboring Syria into Britain but is not planning to accommodate those who have already entered Europe. Britain has also added to the financial aid it is providing to refugee camps in surrounding countries.

Cameron has for months had insisted that it made more sense to provide more aid rather than bring people to Britain.

9:45 a.m.

Greece's coast guard says an island ferry has located 61 migrants off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos, and all have been safely carried to land.

The coast guard said Monday the Blue Star 1 ferry picked up 35 people from the sea, and a coast guard vessel picked up a further 26.

The ferry captain told Greece's Vima FM radio there were 14 children — including a months-old baby — among the migrants, who told rescuers they had spent several hours in the sea after their cabin cruiser took on water and half-sunk.

Since Friday, the coast guard has rescued more than 2,000 migrants in the Aegean.

At least 230,000 refugees and economic migrants have entered Greece so far this year. Thousands remain stranded on islands awaiting screening.

9:00 a.m.

The German government says it will spend 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) next year to support the hundreds of thousands of migrants coming to Germany.

In a-late night meeting lasting until early Monday in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government also agreed to introduce legal measures making it easier to deport-asylum seekers from countries considered "secure states" like Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania. Asylum-seekers will also get less cash in the future and more non-cash benefits.

German officials recently predicted that up to 800,000 migrants will arrive by the end of the year, many of them refugees fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

The government's aid package will include improved housing, more federal police and language classes.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Wed 09 Sep 2015, 13:11

Hungarian camerawoman sacked after she is filmed tripping up migrants fleeing police - including a father carrying a young child

A camerawoman who was caught kicking and tripping over migrants as they escaped from police has been sacked.

The woman, who was working for Hungarian news site N1TV, was filming the crowds of Syrian refugees as they fled across a field from Roszke camp on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

Shocking footage showed her deliberately sticking her leg out as a desperate man carrying a crying child ran past her.

The clip showed the refugee falling to the floor with the child underneath him before he turned to shout at her.

The camerawoman was sacked with immediate effect after the TV station saw the footage online, according to local media reports.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Stardust on Thu 10 Sep 2015, 20:30

Cruel b....y woman. I suppose she wanted better film to show, or is she just plain nasty? She got what she deserved, so that's some justice.

So many refugees...

The world we live in could be such a beautiful place if certain so called human beings didn't destroy, kill and maim, sowing terror among their brothers and making life miserable.

Be grateful for even the smallest thing, blessings come in many disguises.
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Thu 17 Sep 2015, 13:08

Stardust wrote:Cruel b....y woman. I suppose she wanted better film to show, or is she just plain nasty?

That's just the tip of the iceberg .....

'Tear gas forces back migrants at Hungary-Serbia border'

17 September 2015

Hungarian police have fired tear gas and water cannon at migrants as they tried to pass the closed border from Serbia on Wednesday.

Many migrants remain on the Serbian side of the border as night falls, though all violence has stopped.

There are reports that several hundred people have crossed into Croatia from Serbia as they seek to travel north through Europe.

(WARNING: Contains some graphic images)

Hungary PM Viktor Orban - 'Europe's Gatekeeper?'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is determined to stop the flow of migrants through his country.

Despite forging the country's strongest government since the fall of communism, the former footballer's democratic and economic credentials have been questioned.

After a surge in the number of refugees entering Hungary he is reaching out to anti-immigrant opinion across Europe.

Here is a 60-second guide to his controversial views and background. arrow (VIDEO)
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Tue 22 Sep 2015, 15:15

The Latest: Migrants in Athens plead for shelter from rain

BRUSSELS (AP) — The latest developments as European governments struggle to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe.

Hungarian soldiers work on a fence that is being built at the border with Croatia, near the village of Beremend, Hungary, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban said that millions of migrants are "laying siege" to the borders of his country and of Europe, putting the continent in danger.

September 22, 2015

3:25 p.m.

Migrants camping out in Athens are pleading for help and shelter from the sudden onset of autumnal weather and torrential rainfall.

"We have nothing. No water, no food, no shelter. We are living in tents, we need help," said Mohamed Saber Nazari, a 20-year-old Afghan camping in Victoria Square. "You see all the families living in the rain, with small children. Something must be organized for us."

A taxi driver working in the area said he understood what the people were going through. A migrant himself, 45-year-old Adrian Mustafa had walked to Greece from Albania more than 20 years ago and has been living in Greece since 1992.

"If you go through what these people are going through, only then will you understand," he said. "They don't want to stay here, but they live under bad conditions. When you look into their eyes, you understand their problems."

Yusuf Abdal Abib, a 22-year-old Afghan living with his family in a small tent in the square, said he was trying to get to Germany but he didn't have any money. "If I find (money) I'll go straight to buy a bus ticket. Only then will I be able to leave," he said. "But now I have nothing."

3:10 p.m.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders says the only way to halt the flow of migrants pouring into Europe is to end the war in Syria.

Koenders, who visited a refugee camp in Lebanon, said "It is not only a question of border controls and quotas. If the war in Syria does not end, people will keep coming."

Koenders says the European Union, whose leaders are meeting Wednesday in Brussels to try to hammer out a united front in tackling the migrant crisis, should talk to the Lebanese authorities, "because that country knows not only the problems but also the region."

He says the EU should discuss possible solutions to the Syrian conflict with Lebanon and other countries from the Middle East.

The Dutch government has pledged 25 million euros ($28 million) to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

3 p.m.

The chairman of the European Union's emergency migration talks is optimistic that a deal will be sealed later in the day to share 120,000 refugees in Greece, Italy and perhaps Hungary among other EU countries.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told reporters that a compromise drawn up by his team "should get a consensus. I think it's very balanced."

The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary oppose the plan outright while Poland and Latvia are also skeptical. They refuse to have migrant quotas dictated to them from EU headquarters in Brussels.

The EU's top migration official, Dimitris Avramopoulos, appealed for unity, saying that now "is the moment for everybody to show that we really mean it when we talk about responsibility and solidarity."

2:45 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe can only get a long-term grip on the refugee crisis by tackling what is causing people to flee other nations — not by building fences.

Merkel said the European Union needs to send "signals of order" in the crisis, for example by working with Turkey to secure its external border, but it's also necessary to address broader issues such as the aid shortfall that is prompting Syrians to leave surrounding countries.

Merkel said after meeting her Finnish counterpart: "We are learning in this refugee situation that we are all connected to each other and our lives are affected if terrible things happen elsewhere."

She added: "We will not be able to change that by building fences ... only by fighting the causes."

2:40 p.m.

Greek authorities say two people are missing after a boat carrying people fleeing their homelands sank in the eastern Aegean Sea.

The coast guard says eight survivors were picked up by a patrol boat off the island of Lesbos on Tuesday. Their nationalities were not immediately known.

In another 13 operations, it says over 300 people were rescued in the eastern Aegean in the last 24 hours.

More than 260,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in Greece so far this year, most reaching the country's eastern islands on flimsy rafts or boats from the nearby Turkish coast. After being screened, they take ferries to the mainland and then travel north overland to the more prosperous European Union countries.

2:30 p.m.

Croatia's prime minister has urged Serbia to "send refugees in other directions too," as police reported that 34,900 migrants have entered the country in less than a week.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said Tuesday that Belgrade should send some of the refugees to Hungary or Romania. He also says the refugee problem should be solved "at its source," in Greece or Turkey, which most Syrian or Iraqi refugees pass through to get to Europe.

Overwhelmed by the influx, Croatia has been transporting migrants to its borders with Slovenia or Hungary — more than 6,000 migrants left that way Monday and Tuesday.

The crisis has strained diplomatic relations in the region, which has become a transit route for migrants bound for Western Europe.

2:20 p.m.

The sudden onset of fall weather in Greece, with thunderstorms and torrential rain over the past two days, has sent hundreds of migrants who had been camping out in a downtown Athens square scrambling for shelter.

About 100 men, women and children found dry spaces in the Victoria Square metro station Tuesday, while another roughly 400 people, mostly Afghans, remained in the square, huddling in tents or using rubbish bin liners and plastic bags to keep off the worst of the rain. Others took shelter in public telephone booths and under building awnings.

Authorities had bussed many of those sleeping in the square to a sports stadium in a southern Athens suburb during a severe thunderstorm Monday evening, where they can stay for a few days while the bad weather lasts. But many are returning to the square during the day.

2:05 p.m.

Hungary's foreign minister says political relations with fellow European Union neighbor Croatia are at a "freezing point" and may improve only after parliamentary elections there expected by the end of the year.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says Tuesday it was easier for Croatia to quickly transport migrants to the border with Hungary instead of caring for them themselves. He said bilateral affairs could improve "if there are elections in Croatia and the new government thinks it wants to improve this relationship."

Szijjarto says while Hungary had done everything possible to register 230,000 migrants this year, it had failed in some cases because of the aggressive behavior of some migrants and EU rules making it hard to enforce registration.

1:45 p.m.

Norway's Justice Minister has asked the country's police to "intensify" border controls to "prevent illegal immigration and combat organized crime."

Anders Anundsen says such controls give "a better overview and control of who is in the country." Anundsen said the move was "not about reintroducing systematic" border controls nor "to cut the right to seek asylum in Norway for displaced people."

He added it was up to the national police to find out how to increase surveillance.

In recent weeks, some 2,000 people have sought asylum in Norway which is not an European Union member, but is part of the Schengen agreement allowing travel without internal border checks in Europe.

1:10 p.m.

Denmark's intelligence agency doesn't believe Islamic radicals are trying to use the migration flow and Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone to smuggle "terrorists" into the West.

Finn Borch Andersen, acting head of Denmark's Security and Intelligence Service, says "it is associated with high risks" for individuals to be spotted during a journey across the European continent.

But Borch Andersen acknowledged that there could be "people who sympathize with militant Islamism" among the refugees.

Danish Justice Minister Soeren Pind said that at least 12,400 people had crossed into Denmark via Germany in the past few weeks, adding that about 1,500 people had sought asylum in Denmark. Andersen and Pind were speaking during a joint news conference.

12:45 p.m.

Serbia's prime minister has given the European Union a deadline to persuade Croatia to resume all cargo traffic that was halted after a surge of migrants over their mutual border or he says that Belgrade will respond with unspecified retaliatory measures.

Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday that Croatia's closure of the main border crossing for cargo trucks early Monday is "a scandal of international proportions." Vucic gave the European Commission a 2 p.m. (1300 GMT, 9 a.m. EDT) deadline to reopen the traffic, before an emergency government session he is to chair.

Landlocked Serbia says it is losing millions of dollars a day because of the blockade. Croatia has hinted it may close the last remaining border crossing with Serbia for all traffic, including people, if Serbia retaliates.

Croatia, which has last week closed all but one border crossing with Serbia, wants to pressure Serbia to stop sending the migrants toward Croatian borders and rather channel them further north to Hungary.

More than 30,000 migrants have crossed from Serbia to Croatia since Hungary closed its borders a week ago.

12:20 p.m.

Czech leaders say they are determined to reject the European Union's plan for compulsory quotas to distribute refugees.

Interior ministers from the 28-member EU will try to resolve the dispute on the emergency relocation of 120,000 asylum-seekers at a meeting Tuesday in Brussels. On Wednesday, EU leaders will meet again on the migrant crisis that is overwhelming the continent.

Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, who has disputed the legality of the quota system, said at a Prague airport before leaving for Brussels that "it's an empty political gesture."

Standing by his side, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka echoed that: "We're certain that the system won't be working."

Sobotka previously said the country is ready to take in thousands but on a voluntary basis.

12:10 p.m.

Hungarian lawmakers say the European Union's "irresponsible policies" have led to the deaths of migrants whose "unbearable flow" is a burden on the country's economic development.

A resolution approved by legislators from Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party and its Christian Democrat allies, says Hungary "cannot allow illegal migrants to endanger the workplaces and social security of the Hungarian people."

The lawmakers said it was irresponsible for European politicians to encourage migrants to risk death for a better life in Europe and called on EU leaders to "return to the road of common sense" and protect Europe and it citizens.

Hungary is building fences on border sections with Serbia, Croatia and Romania to stop the free flow of migrants mostly headed to Germany and other richer EU countries.

11:35 a.m.

Norway's foreign minister warns that the refugee crisis will continue and could get worse if no political solution is found to end Syria's civil war.

Borge Brende told reporters after meeting his Lebanese counterpart Gibran Bassil in Beirut that Norway has an agreement with the U.N. refugee agency to receive "a substantial amount of refugees in the three coming years — in fact 7 percent of all the refugees that the UNHCR has asked for."

Europe is struggling to deal with the tens of thousands of refugees making the perilous trek to the continent to seek sanctuary there.

Borge warned that the situation will continue as long as there is war in Syria "so the only real solution to this is to find a political solution for Syria."

11:20 a.m.

A leading economic agency is urging rich countries to invest in integrating and training immigrants to ensure that they contribute to economies instead of draining them.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned in a report that record numbers of migrant arrivals in Europe are an "emergency situation" and there is "little hope" that it will ease soon.

The OECD called on its 34 member countries, which include the U.S. and most of Europe, to "constantly" adjust immigration policies to take into account shifts such as war in Syria and political collapse in Libya, which have driven many people to seek refuge in Europe.

The group recommends language and other training, and access to health care for migrants to improve their economic contribution.

11:10 a.m.

The U.N. refugee agency is calling on the European Union to agree this week to take in another 120,000 migrants "for any relocation program to be credible."

The UNHCR says in a statement that 477,906 people have arrived in Europe by sea this year. As EU officials meet in Brussels to discuss the crisis, the agency said a relocation program alone for now "will not be enough to stabilize the situation."

It urged the EU to quickly set up facilities in Greece, which has taken in tens of thousands of people — mainly refugees from Syria arriving through Turkey.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said this may be "the last opportunity for a coherent European response."

10:40 a.m.

Several hundred asylum-seekers are camping out at the Turkish border with Greece, hoping that a meeting in Brussels will produce an agreement to let them into the European Union.

In the Turkish border city of Edirne, migrants remain at a wrestling arena about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Greek border.

Hundreds of migrants have made the trek to Edirne in the hope of being allowed to cross into neighboring Greece or Bulgaria and avoid the often-risky journey across the Aegean Sea. Many arrived last week but have been blocked from approaching the border by law enforcement. Hundreds more were stranded in Istanbul after bus companies refused to issue them tickets.

Although many have pledged to remain until the borders are opened, many have given up on a crossing and have been bused back to other cities in Turkey.

By Mehmet Guzel

9:35 a.m.

Scuffles have broken out between Croatian police and asylum-seekers after they were barred from entering a newly opened reception center meant to register those seeking sanctuary in Europe.

Troubles started at the camp, when more migrants came to the gates than authorities could handle. Police in the Croatian village of Opatovac pushed people back from the front gate, asked them to sit down and to wait their turn.

Croatia set up a migrant reception operation to try to bring order to the unrelenting chaos that has gripped the country since Sept. 15, when Hungary closed its border with Serbia. That decision diverted waves of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to Croatia.

9:20 a.m.

Austrian police say about 1,000 new arrivals are expected soon at the main border crossing point with Hungary, after nearly 10,000 migrants trekked into the country.

Police spokesman Helmut Marban said Tuesday that most of Monday's arrivals at the Nickelsdorf crossing east of Vienna had already been brought to emergency shelters elsewhere in the country.

He said Hungary is bringing the 1,000 people expected Tuesday to its side of the border by train.

From there, the migrants usually walk into Austria.

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Hungarian police clash with migrants at Serbian border
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Kitkat on Thu 01 Oct 2015, 17:14

Europe's Border Crisis: The Long Road

30 Sept 2015

As Europe witnesses the dramatic movement of people across its borders, Panorama reporter John Sweeney joins thousands making the journey from the Greek island of Kos to the Austrian border with Hungary. He meets families fleeing conflict and terror in Syria, refugees separated from their loved ones, children, the old and sick being forced to march to safety. Among this tide of humanity, he also finds economic migrants seeking a better life in northern Europe and he asks, with winter on the way, is the crisis about to claim even more lives?

First broadcast on BBC One (30 September 2015)
12 months left to watch 

Duration:  30 minutes
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Jamboree on Mon 05 Oct 2015, 23:15

Looking at the other side of the story in the press.

Refugee family demands to be settled in Germany – or they'll go back to Syria
A FAMILY of migrants have demanded that they are settled in Germany and have refused to seek asylum in any other European country.

Cameron tells EU leaders to send economic migrants home - as ONE MILLION head our way

Doctors REFUSE to go to migrant camp alone to pick up sick in case they are attacked

Hamburg - Hundreds of RIOTING migrants force police to separate warring religious and ethnic groups
A MASS brawl between more than 200 refugees erupted today as they used broken up chairs and beds to attack each other in a huge fight described by police as "extreme aggression".

Soaring immigration means most parts of the country could have fewer available primary school places than pupils in just two years.

And from the Guardian -
10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis
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Migrants trade punches, 1 stabbed as tensions boil over

Post by Kitkat on Thu 22 Oct 2015, 15:51

VIENNA (AP) — Migrants traded punches and scuffled with police at a Serbian border crossing and a man was stabbed in a similar clash on the Slovenian border Thursday as pent-up pressures on their trek toward hoped-for safe haven in the European Union boiled over.

October 22, 2015

Slovenian police said the stabbing incident took place near Rigonci earlier in the day, and that the victim was given medical treatment. The unrest at Berkasovo village on the Serbian border subsided after several minutes. But the outbreak reflected the frustrations of the tens of thousands of people facing long waits and other hardships as they make their way north over the Balkans each day in search of better lives in prosperous EU countries.

Further along that route, Austrian police moved to relieve pent-up pressure which they feared could lead to violence, removing barriers at an overcrowded collection point at a border crossing with Slovenia. A day earlier, thousands of migrants broke through police obstacles at the same collection center at the Spielfeld border point.

Many of the migrants spilled out of the facility Thursday but then gathered nearby, following police instructions. But many others walked away from the border. The collection area just inside the Austrian border was again full by afternoon. Police and soldiers struggled to maintain order as the crowd surged every time a group was separated for transport by bus to shelters and processing.

Trampled, pushed or otherwise hurt, several people were seen receiving medical attention, including one boy, about 8 years old, whose leg was being bandaged and a younger boy being given oxygen. At least two adults were taken away on stretchers.

A police officer with a loudspeaker urged people to sit and wait for buses, warning "if you make trouble, we make trouble." On the Slovene side, more than 1,000 migrants were waiting for entry, either to apply for asylum in Austria or to transit to other EU nations.

The flow of people over the so-called west Balkans route that begins in Greece has shifted. Migrants still cross first into Macedonia and then Serbia but now enter Croatia instead of Hungary, which erected a fence along its border to Serbia. From Croatia, they move to Slovenia, which has struggled to deal with the increasing numbers.

In Serbia, groups of migrants huddled around fires lit to combat the chill at Berkasovo village. Niklas Stoerup Agerup of the U.N. refugee agency, said the number of migrant families with children under the age of 5 transiting into Croatia has been increasing over the past several weeks.

Overnight and early Thursday "we've had a continuous flow of people coming in and also a continuous flow of people managing to cross the border," he said. Fadl Abdul, a Palestinian from Lebanon, was among those warming themselves at one of the fires. He said children were particularly vulnerable to the hardships.

"We can sit here, one day, two days without eat ... water, OK, no problem," said the 43-year-old in broken English. "But what about the kids? They need milk, they need to change clothes, everything." Croatian Interior Ministry spokesman Domagoj Dzigulovic said 1,277 people arrived in Croatia from midnight until late Thursday morning. Further north, authorities in Slovenia counted 12,616 migrants entering the country on Wednesday.

Slovenian authorities say they can handle no more than 2,500 entries per day, and have accused Croatia of sending too many migrants through. In Madrid, an EU People's Party congress urged swift action. "The right to seek asylum must be respected for those in need of protection, while swift and effective return and readmission measures for those not qualifying must be put in place," according to an emergency resolution adopted by the congress that groups Europe's centrist parties.

Other related news:
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Re: Europe in disarray over migrants

Post by Curious on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 05:25

Canada will be taking 25,000 more by the end of the year.judge

    Current date/time is Fri 18 Jan 2019, 21:47