Statewatch article: RefNo# 37161
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (21.9.16)
Statewatch News Online, September 2016
- Are You Syrious (link)

How European inefficiency and disregard caused the fire at Moria

"The yesterday’s fire at Moria camp forced the evacuation of the camp’s estimated 4000 residents, who ran into fields in the vicinity, tried to seek shelter in the nearby village of Moria?—?where, according to some reports, they were thwarted by disgruntled residents?—?and even trekked 25 kilometers to the island’s capital of Mytilene.

Videos posted on social media on Monday night showed elderly men and women and families with children trying to flee the burning camp with little but the clothes on their backs, many squeezing through an opening in a fence as they scrambled to get away....

Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection says protests happened particularly because of the such lack of information and rumors, while Lesvos mayor PASOK, ND and Golden Dawn supporters propagate xenophobia and try provoking already frightened refugees."


Local extremists attacked refugees and volunteers who were escaping the Moria fire

"As No Border Kitchen reports, around 200 fascists attacked refugees and their supporters in Moria village yesterday. One volunteer car was smashed but, luckily, all volunteers and refugees managed to escape the fascists’ violence."

In the fire’s aftermath, unaccompanied refugee children to be transferred from Lesvos to mainland

"The government on Tuesday put into motion the transfer of 91 unaccompanied refugee children from Lesvos to the Greek mainland, following a destructive fire in Moria. The 91 kids were transferred to a separate site at the PIKPA summer camp when rioting broke out at the government-run Moria camp. Several families with children were also transferred from the Moria hot spot to unofficial center run by non-governmental organizations and the municipality at Kara Tepe."

Statement by the Refugee Accommodation and Solidarity Space City Plaza blaming the government and police for events in Moria

"The government and police are responsible for the explosive situation in Moria yesterday. On the one hand, the police showed provocative tolerance to fascist bullies pretending to be “indignant citizens”?—?exactly as they did in Chios recently. Fully armed riot police stood idly by as the Nazis bullied defenseless people. On the other hand, the government (with the EU’s blessing) insists on the unacceptable policy of detaining refugees inside terrible camps, with no future in sight."

- Asylum-seekers flee fire at Greek hotspot as tensions flare (euractiv, link):

"No casualties were reported from the fire and its cause was unclear. The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, linked the fire to poor living conditions and a sense of insecurity among many of the residents...

Roland Schoenbauer, UNHCR’s spokesman in Greece, said people were “sick of waiting” in the camps. “They don’t know when their asylum claims will be processed. Some people feel they don’t have enough information,” he said."


- Balkan leaders pledge to keep out migrants (euobserver, link):

"Leaders along the Western Balkan migratory route, which saw 1 million people pass through last year on their way to Germany and northern Europe, pledged not to let the influx repeat this year ahead of a migration summit in Vienna on Saturday (24 September)....

"There is now an understanding in the European Union that we have to stop the flow of illegal migrants, and that we need border controls to our external borders," Kurz said, according to the AP news agency....

The European Commission said on Tuesday transfers from the island to the mainland would be limited.

"To avoid secondary movement to the rest of Europe, that means keeping asylum seekers on the islands for the most part," said a commission spokeswoman.""


- UK delays resulting in exploitation of Calais children, says anti-slavery chief (Guardian, link):

"Kevin Hyland says lack of urgency in UK response has left unaccompanied children vulnerable."

- Migrant boat carrying 600 capsizes off Egypt, at least 29 dead (Reuters, link):

"A boat carrying around 600 people capsized off Egypt's coast, killing at least 29, officials said on Wednesday, in the latest disaster to befall migrants attempting to make the crossing to Europe.

The boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea off Burg Rashid, a village in the northern Beheira province. Of the 29 bodies found so far, 18 were men, 10 were women and one was a child, local officials said.

Rescue workers have so far saved 150 people, officials said. The boat was carrying Egyptian, Syrian, and African migrants"


- Federal report laments rising xenophobia in Germany (DW, link):

"The federal government has released its latest evaluation on the country's status, 26 years after reunification. Leaders are worried about rising xenophobia and lagging economic progress in the east.

In a report on the Status of German Unity released by the cabinet on Wednesday, leaders expressed concern about the increasing incidents of anti-immigrant and right-wing attacks, especially in eastern states that were part of the former German Democratic Republic."


- Lawmakers slam diversion of EU aid to ‘Trust Fund for Africa’ (euractiv, link)

"A little under a year since its launch, the EU’s Trust Fund for Africa is largely financed with EU development money and has failed to convince Members of the European Parliament, who warn about diversion of aid to stem migration flows from authoritarian regimes.:.... The report was voted by a comfortable majority, of 511 to 126....

First among the report's criticisms is the lack of funds allocated to the instrument proposed at last year's migration summit in Valletta.
"The contributions from member states have been too small," the report said. "As a result, they are a long way from meeting the official commitment, with a total of just €81.71m in April 2016 (4.5% of the €1.8bn planned)," it added....

Member states' minimal contributions to the fund have generally been just generous enough to grant them access to the fund's council of administration, but have gone no further."

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