Statewatch article: RefNo# 35340
EU: MED-CRISIS: (1.9.15)
Statewatch News Online, September 2015
Agence Europe reports that: "the State of the Union speech to be given at the European Parliament's plenary in Strasbourg on 9 September by Jean-Claude Juncker. The president of the European Commission is expected to announce in his speech a number of proposals for dealing with the migration crisis. On Monday 31 August, Margaritis Schinas, a Commission spokesperson, said that Juncker would bring forward the timing of some measures announced in the European Migration Agenda, including returns policy, the role of the Frontex agency and the common list of safe countries of origin for Western Balkans states that have applied to join the EU. The Commission has announced plans to unveil a permanent European mechanism for relocating asylum-seekers in the member states in the event of an immigration crisis." and:

"In Calais on Monday 31 August, on the fringes of a visit by European Commissioners Timmermans and Avramopoulos, the French prime minister, Manuel Valls.. called for the setting up of 'hotspot' sorting centres in Greece and Italy to be speeded up in order to allow economic migrants to be returned to their country of origin. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 60% of the migrants in Calais were economic migrants and the other people would be able to obtain protection. These figures are challenged by NGOs on the ground."


Hungary Fence Closure Causes Refugee Influx (AJ+, link) Moving video capturing the moment

More than 1,000 refugees rescued in a single day, Greek coast guard says (ekathimerini.com, link)

HUNGARY: Keleti Train Station in Budapest Temporarily Shuts Down Amid Migrant Crisis (INYT, link) and Hungary closes main Budapest station to refugees - Move follows chaotic scenes when thousands of people were allowed on to trains bound for Austria and Germany without visa checks (Guardian, link)

Berlin Couple Launches Website Matching Refugees With Roommates in Germany, Austria (.haaretz.com, link): "More than 400 refugees currently based in Germany have applied to 'Refugees Welcome' website, which aims to combat housing refugees en masse in makeshift locations."

V4 government heads to discuss migration crisis (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "The prime ministers of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, will meet on Friday or Sunday to discuss the migration crisis in Europe, Slovak PM Robert Fico announced yesterday. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said later yesterday that the V4 meeting will be held in Prague on Friday afternoon."

Migrant crisis: Five obstacles to an EU deal (BBC News, link): "Europe is struggling with its biggest migration crisis since World War Two, with unprecedented numbers of refugees and other migrants seeking asylum in the EU."

Europe’s response to migrant crisis is not working, warns UN rights expert (UN News Centre, link): "The European Union should establish a human rights-based, coherent and comprehensive migration policy which makes mobility its central asset, a United Nations expert today advocated, assuring is the only way in which the EU can reclaim its border, effectively combat smuggling and empower migrants. “Let’s not pretend that what the EU and its member states are doing is working. Migration is here to stay,” Mr. Crépeau stressed. “Building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention, withholding access to basics such as shelter, food or water and using threatening language or hateful speech will not stop migrants from coming or trying to come to Europe,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said."

LESVOS: GREECE: Authorities on Lesvos stretched to the limit as refugee number climbs to about 12,000 (ANA-MPA, link)

Merkel urges migrant help for Italy (ANSA, link): "German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday urged the European Union to help Italy on its migrant crisis just as the EU called for common rules rather than walls to address the emergency that has come into sharp focus with a string of deadly incidents. The UN said the vast majority of people trying to cross the Mediterranean were refugees, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan."

NORWAY: Norway PM pushed to follow Merkel on asylum (The Local.no, link): "Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg is under pressure to follow her German counterpart and stop sending refugees back to the country in which they first arrived in Europe."

UNHCR: Crossings of Mediterranean Sea exceed 300,000, including 200,000 to Greece (link)

GREECE: Constant flow of refugees proves overwhelming for Aegean islands (ekathimerini.com, link): "Despite the Eleftherios Venizelos passenger ferry carrying some 2,500 refugees at a time to Piraeus almost around the clock, thousands of people remain stuck on the Greek islands, often in squalid or dangerous conditions. Authorities on Lesvos estimate that there are 12,000 refugees on the island, which has a total population of around 85,000."

Solidarity not one way street says Faymann (The Local.at, link): "Building border fences like those erected by the Hungarian government will not prevent smugglers or solve the asylum crisis, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on Monday."

Trainloads of migrants reach Austria, Germany, as EU asylum system collapses (euractiv, link): "Trainloads of migrants arrived in Austria and Germany from Hungary yesterday (31 August) as European Union asylum rules collapsed under the strain of a wave of migration unprecedented in the EU."

Our treatment of today's refugees harks back to Europe's darkest hour (New Statesman, link): "We mustn't forget the lessons of the Second World War in the face of today's refugee crisis... n the 1930s, thousands of persecuted people fled Europe. Our own press ignominiously reported these as "Stateless Jews pouring into this country" and various records exist from that time of public officials reassuring readers that no such thing would be allowed under their watch."

EU struggles to reconcile values with barbed wire fences (euractiv, link): "European politicians gathered in Calais on Monday (31 August) to make assurances that the EU will not abandon those who need protection. But they also reaffirmed the need to protect the bloc's external borders."

Trains packed with migrants arrive in Vienna (euobserver, link): "Hundreds of people seeking refuge arrived at Vienna’s Westbahnhof station from the Hungarian capital Budapest on Monday (31 August), with most seeking to head on to Germany."

Günter Grass criticises refugee treatment from beyond the grave - Posthumous publication of Nobel prize-winning writer’s last book attacks rising vitriol towards refugees in Germany (Guardian, link) And: Germany urges other EU countries to take in more refugees - Angela Merkel says it isn’t right that some nations are refusing to accept more refugees as France announces new Calais camp (Guardian, link)

GERMANY-EU: Opinion: Merkel steps up: Germany's position on the refugee crisis facing Europe is clear and without "ifs" and "maybes," writes DW's Dagmar Engel. (DW, link)

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