Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 5.2.16


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 Turkish PM warns of new wave of refugees from Syria (Hurriyet, link): "Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has warned of a new wave of Syrian refugees totaling as many as 80,000 after people began to move toward Turkey due to increased airstrikes in the country’s northwest.

“Some 10,000 new refugees are waiting at Turkey’s border [with Syria] due to the airstrikes in Aleppo. Some 60,000 to 70,000 people, who are in camps north of Aleppo, are moving toward Turkey,” said Davutoglu during a donor conference entitled “Supporting Syria and the region” at the QEII center in central London on Feb. 4."


And see: Avramopoulos: Detention and removal centres are also needed (EurActiv, link): "The hotspots are there to support the process of the first arrivals through registering, identifying and fingerprinting - to know whether people will have to be relocated, or whether they should do their asylum procedure in Greece or Italy, and then either be granted asylum or be returned. Of course, during that time, people have to stay somewhere. So it is normal that we need more reception places. Greece has committed to expanding its reception places by 50,000 following the Western Balkans leaders meeting on 25 October - but detention or removal centers are also needed for those who receive the decision to return, particularly if there is a risk of absconding and if they are not willing to return voluntarily."

 How to manage the migrant crisis (The Economist, link): "REFUGEES are reasonable people in desperate circumstances. Life for many of the 1m-odd asylum-seekers who have fled Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries for Europe in the past year has become intolerable. Europe is peaceful, rich and accessible. Most people would rather not abandon their homes and start again among strangers. But when the alternative is the threat of death from barrel-bombs and sabre-wielding fanatics, they make the only rational choice.

The flow of refugees would have been manageable if European Union countries had worked together, as Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has always wished (and The Economist urged). Instead Germany and Sweden have been left to cope alone. Today their willingness to do so is exhausted. Unless Europe soon restores order, political pressure will force Mrs Merkel to clamp down unilaterally, starting a wave of border closures (see article). More worrying, the migrant crisis is feeding xenophobia and political populism. The divisive forces of right-wing nationalism have already taken hold in parts of eastern Europe. If they spread westward into Germany, France and Italy then the EU could tear itself apart."

 Mediterranean Migrant Deaths Reach 374; Arrivals in Greece Top 68,000 in 2016 (IOM, link): "OM estimates that Mediterranean migrant and refugee arrivals in Italy and Greece reached 74,676 through February 4th.

The first four days of February saw 7,483 arrivals—surpassing the 6,834 recorded for the entire month of February in 2015."

An estimated total of 374 people have died attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean so far this year (between 1 January and 4 February).

 News (5.2.16)

CROATIA: Anti-trafficking experts worried by “high numbers of unaccompanied child refugees” missing in Croatia (Council of Europe, link): "Anti-trafficking experts are worried by evidence of “high numbers of unaccompanied child refugees” missing in Croatia.

“With recent reports of high numbers of unaccompanied child refugees gone missing, the identification of child victims has become a priority across Europe,” said Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, following the publication of a new report by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

The GRETA report welcomes Croatia’s ‘Strategy for Combatting Poverty and Social Exclusion,’ as a “root causes” contribution to the prevention human trafficking."

The Migrant Crisis: No End in Sight (The New York Times, link): "The refugees keep coming.

Forced from their homes by war and economic deprivation, tens of thousands of migrants made the perilous journey to Europe last month.

These asylum seekers, the latest surge in a great tide of human movement, have braved winter weather, stormy seas and closed borders in their escape from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa.

On Thursday in London, the European Union and international donors are expected to pledge to increase their aid to Syrians displaced by war.

The toll, whether measured in lives or in dollars, is staggering."

Disappointed With Europe, Thousands of Iraqi Migrants Return Home (The New York Times, link): "Last year, beckoned by news reports of easy passage to Europe through Turkey, tens of thousands of Iraqis joined Syrians, Africans and Afghans in the great migrant wave to the Continent. Now, thousands of Iraqis are coming home.

Many say they arrived in Europe with unrealistic expectations for quick success. Some also say the warm reception they received from Europeans last summer gave way to suspicion after the Paris terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic State in November."

EU silent over impact of refugees on national budgets (EurActiv, link): "The cost of hosting refugees and asylum seekers is likely to have a big impact on public finances, but the EU is still unable to give a figure for individual member states, Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has acknowledged."

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