Statewatch article: RefNo# 35603
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (16 stories and documents, 26.10.15)
Statewatch News Online, October 2015
- Refugees on Slovenia-Croatia border – drone video footage (Guardian, link): "Aerial footage shows the scale of migration at the Slovenian-Croatian border, where hundreds of refugees are seen crossing farmland on foot on Sunday. The Balkan route switched to Slovenia after Hungary closed its border"

- Turkish fishermen rescue baby: 'Brother, he is alive' (CNN,link): "The footage was shot recently in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Kusadasi, Turkey. A boat carrying migrants capsized, according to Turkey's Dogan News Agency (DHA). The video shows fishermen approaching what looks to be a floating life jacket. A baby boy is inside. One of the men pulls the child out of the water and strips off his life jacket, turning the boy over and upside down in an apparent attempt to clear water from the boy's lungs. He wraps the child in a blanket."

- EU: Refugee crisis: 25-10-15: Final Statement:
Leaders' Meeting on refugee flows along the Western Balkans Route: Leaders’ Statement (pdf):

Greece to build camps to hold 30,000 refugees plus 20,000 in rented homes and UNHCR a further 50,000 further north

"Under the current circumstances, we will discourage the movement of refugees or migrants to the border of another country of the region. A policy of waving through refugees without informing a neighbouring country is not acceptable. This should apply to all countries along the route...

Greece's intention to increase reception capacity to 30.000 places by the end of the year and commit to supporting Greece and UNHCR to provide rent subsidies and host family programmes for at least 20.000 more. Financial support for Greece and the UNHCR is expected. This is an important precondition to make the emergency relocation system work...

We will work with the UNHCR who has committed to support our efforts in improving our capacities. An additional capacity of 50.000 would allow for a better and more predictable management of the flow....

We will work with the European Commission and Frontex to step up practical cooperation on readmission with third countries; cooperation will be intensified with Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, in particular in the area of returns....

Upscaling the Poseidon Sea Joint Operation in Greece, in particular Frontex's presence in the Aegean Sea, and strengthening significantly Frontex support to Greece in registering and fingerprinting activities...

We reconfirm the principle that a country may refuse entry to third country nationals who, when presenting themselves at border crossing points, do not confirm a wish to apply for international protection (in line with international and EU refugee law, subject to a prior non-refoulement and proportionality check)...

It should be noted that there is nothing further on "relocation"


The European Commission called a meeting - mini-summit- in Brussels of the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia: Leaders' Meeting on the Western Balkans Route: Draft Leaders’ Statement (pdf): Note this "Draft" was circulated on Saturday 24 October the day before the meeting organised by the Commission.

- News (26.10.15)

From: IOM, 23.10.15: Infographic
(link): 680.928 arrivals: 537,460 to Greece and 139,518 to Italy. 3,175 dead/missing.

Greece: PM Tsipras: Greece rejects proposal for 'refugee ghetto', EU accepts gov't alternative (ANA-MPA, link): "Three proposals that included the creation of a ghetto for 50,000 refugees in Attica were rejected, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said early on Monday, following the conclusion in Brussels of a mini-Summit of European leaders on migration.... sipras said that the three proposals included the creation of the equivalent of a city, with 50,000 refugees, within Greece; the option of an EU country to bar entry to refugees from another EU country, which would have created a domino effect stressing Greece; and a new operation by EU border police Frontex in northern Greece to check migratory flows towards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). In explaining the rejection of each of the proposals... "

Greece agrees to host 50,000 refugees as part of new EU plan (ekathimerini.com, link): "Greece committed on Sunday to opening enough reception centers to house 30,000 refugees by the end of the year, with the United Nations to provide another 20,000 places, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. "We will increase reception capacities to 100,000 places in Greece and in the western Balkans," he said following a meeting of 11 European leaders in Brussels.... the final agreement included a Greek commitment to increase to 30,000 by the end of this year the number of places it has to host migrants - officials said it currently has some 7,000-10,000. A further 20,000 people should be sheltered in private accommodation in Greece, the statement said, while another 50,000 places should be available in countries further north."

EU leaders criticize each other at summit on refugees (ekathimerini.com, link): "European leaders lashed out Sunday at each other's handling of the continent's greatest immigration crisis since World War II, even as they came together to seek ways to ease the plight of the tens of thousands marching across the Balkans toward the European Union's heartland.... Many say the EU needs to get control of the refugee flow at the bloc's external border between EU-member Greece and Turkey. Migration experts, however, say the flood of refugees won't be halted until the world resolves the war in Syria, which is driving millions out of the country."

Leaders clash at migration mini-summit (euractiv, link): "Leaders of the countries of the so-called “Balkan route” clashed on Sunday (25 October) with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with some of them using the argument that the Union may fall apart because of the refugee exodus.... Hours elapsed. The meeting scheduled to finish at 7 PM finished past midnight, many of the leaders having left in the meantime. Finally, Juncker faced the press, alongside Merkel and the UN high commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres. Juncker said that the only way out of the situation was to slow down the uncontrolled flows of people. “The policy of waving through people to neighbouring countries has to stop. I want to be clear: people must be registered. No registration, no rights,” Juncker said."

EU and Balkans agree plan for 100,000 places in reception centres for refugees (Guardian, link): "Brussels summit agrees a 17-point plan to manage the flow of refugees in the Balkans, including more shelter, border registration and increased naval operations"

Opinion: EU refugee summit over Balkan route has saved Europe for now (DW, link): "Facing the complete failure of the handling of the refugee crisis, key European Union (EU) states have agreed upon emergency measures. These need to work now, otherwise the EU is in danger, says DW's Bernd Riegert."

Western Balkan countries agree to work together on migration (Politico, link): "Leaders commit to tighter controls on the flow of refugees, but details still need to be worked out"

Egypt to found court on human trafficking, illegal immigration (cairopost, link): "Egypt will found a court specialized in human trafficking and illegal immigration, Justice Minister Ahmed el-Zend announced Friday during a meeting with William Lacy, head of the International Organization for Migration.... The Egyptian authorities routinely foil the attempts of migrants from Egypt, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria and Iraq to migrate illegally to Europe, but no certain numbers are available about how many are able to successfully slip under the radar."

EU: Slovenian President discusses refugee crisis with Schulz (ep, link)

FINLAND: Most Finns would cut social security for asylum seekers, survey finds (helsinkitimes, link) and Level of asylum applications is unsustainable, says Sipila

Serbia PM: Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania should act jointly, show solidarity with Europe, ask for solidarity from European countries (focus-fen.net, link)

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