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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
18.7.16.16
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Greece: Most migrant centers to be replaced (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Three quarters of the country’s migrant reception centers are to close by September, according to government plans.

The second phase of a government scheme to deal with the fallout of the refugee crisis, which has left some 56,000 migrants stranded in Greece, foresees the closure of most facilities currently hosting migrants and their replacement with several small state facilities with better conditions. These facilities are to be modeled on a center in Elaionas, near downtown Athens, where migrants live in prefabricated homes with electricity and running water....

Ministry officials have already started assessing the country’s 42 reception facilities..."

Are You Syrious (link):

Serbia: Hundreds of people asking for help in Belgrade

"Situation in Serbia is not improving. More and more people are arriving every day and they are asking for help.... Last night in Belgrade, around 300 people slept in the open. Among them were many women and children, including babies."

Border are between Serbia and Hungary

"People lost shelter due to heavy rain - situation at the border, Kalebija, is not improving even though volunteers and human rights organizations are warning for days about how bad it is. IHO volunteers are still there helping in every possible way. Currently, over 400 people are stuck in this area.... Over the last three days, there have been heavy rain in the area, and many people lost their tents."

Greece: More migrants, refugees reach eastern Aegean islands (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Migrants and refugees arriving on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos last week came to 270 people, the Greek ANA-MPA news agency reported on Sunday. The figure represented those who reached the island from Tuesday to Sunday. On the island of Chios, arrivals reached 84 people, while only three arrived on the island of Samos, during the same period."

France: Recent Forced Evictions in France: the Calm before the Storm (ERRC, link):

"Budapest, Paris, 13 July 2016: A report released today by the European Roma Rights Centre and the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, shows a marked decrease in the number of evictions taking place in France during the second quarter of this year, compared with previous quarters and years. These most recent figures are likely not all they seem however, and probably represent only a lull in the storm of relentless and uncompromising forced evictions which have plagued French Roma over the past few years."

See: Census of forced evictions in living areas occupied by Roma (or persons designated as such) in France (pdf, link)

The daily harassment of the refugees and migrants on Kos (Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones, link):

"We came for a week but in those 7 days we yet again confronted the same cruelties we had seen before in Samos and in Athens. We saw police who were totally unsuited for working with vulnerable people, we saw agencies like UNCHR whose contributions were so limited and seemed incapable of offering what was needed. And we met refugees and migrants who despite all these humiliations struggled to stay sane and human and who showed us kindness and friendship which stood in the starkest contrast to the authorities. They knew they could expect little or nothing from the system and placed much hope in ordinary people who they thought could help if only they knew what was going on. Sadly, we are not so sure……."

UNHCR concerned Hungary pushing asylum seekers back to Serbia - Agency worried by reports of violence and worsening conditions at Hungarian-Serbian border (link):

"The UN Refugee Agency said today it was deeply concerned that asylum-seekers were reportedly being forced back across the border into Serbia under new Hungarian regulations and called for an investigation into reports that they were being subjected to violence and abuse.

UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler told a press briefing in Geneva the new restrictions contravened EU and international law. "We are deeply concerned about further restrictions by Hungary leading to push-backs of people seeking asylum and reports about the use of violence and abuse," Spindler said.

The number of refugees and migrants at the Serbian-Hungarian border had reached more than 1,400, the agency said. “These restrictions are at variance with EU and international law and reports of abuse need to be investigated,” he added."

News (18.7.16)

Italy says 675 migrants died in April 2015 shipwreck (Daily Sabah Europe, link): "The remains of up to 675 victims have been recovered from a 2015 migrant shipwreck, Italy's navy said on Thursday, as it concluded an operation to retrieve corpses from one of the worst disasters in the Mediterranean."

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