01 January 2016
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Migrant arrivals and deaths in the Mediterranean: what do the data really tell us? (Forced Migration Review, link):
"When looking at numbers of arrivals and deaths in the Mediterranean, it is important to ask how robust the data are and what they represent. If we are to frame and inform more accurately the policy challenges facing Europe, it is crucial that data are of good quality and as complete as possible and that their limitations are fully understood."
At least 34 migrants die in worst tragedy of 2016 on Aegean Sea (hurriyetdailynews.com, link): "The bodies of at least 34 migrants who were attempting to cross to Greece have washed up in the Aegean districts of Ayvalik and Dikili after two boats overturned in stormy weather, amid fears that the death toll could rise... Twenty-four were discovered on the shoreline in the district of Ayvalik, the Turkish Coast Guard command told Reuters. Ten others were found in the district of Dikili, a gendarmerie official in the local headquarters said. The bodies began washing up on the shore of a housing development, Marti Site, in Ayvalik’s Altinova Neighborhood.."
SHENGEN IN TROUBLE: Is the Schengen dream of Europe without borders becoming a thing of the past? (Guardian, link): "With Sweden and Denmark reintroducing border controls in a new Europe of razor-wire fences, fear of mass immigration and homegrown terror, obituaries are already being written"
European Union To Host Schengen Talks With Sweden, Denmark (NDTV, link): " The European Union (EU) said it will host emergency talks on Wednesday with Denmark, Sweden and Germany about new migrant border checks that have sparked fresh concerns about Europe's Schengen passport-free zone. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos called the meeting in Brussels after Denmark implemented spot checks on its border with Germany, and Sweden imposed its own controls on travellers from Denmark."
Domino effect: Denmark follows Sweden on EU border checks (euobserver, link) and Sweden sees sharp drop in new refugee arrivals (The Local.se, link)
IOM: 31 December 2015: 1,003,124 arrivals in the Med: Greece: 845,852. Italy: 153,032. 3,771 deaths/missing
Greece: Vanessa Redgrave in Athens to highlight plight of refugees (ANAMPA, link): "Noted actress, activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Vanessa Redgrave on Tuesday paid a visit to an open reception centre for refugees and migrants in the Elaionas district of inner city Athens.... She particularly praised the residents of the eastern Aegean islands and volunteers arriving from all parts of the world to help the refugees, urging people everywhere to exert pressure on their governments for a more positive approach to the refugees issue."
Merkel's Bavarian allies reignite refugee row with call for cap (Reuters, link): "German Chancellor Angela Merkel's allies in Bavaria stepped up criticism of her open-door refugee policy on Sunday, with their leader demanding a cap of 200,000 migrants a year, about a fifth of last year's level." and see: Merkel rejects eehofer’s call for refugee limit - Chancellor gives her Bavarian ally the cold shoulder.(politico.eu, link)
Nine drowned refugees wash up on Turkish beach (ekathimerini.com, link) :"A Turkish news agency says the bodies of nine drowned migrants, including children, have washed up on a beach on Turkey's Aegean coast after their boat capsized in rough seas. The Dogan news agency says the bodies were discovered early on Tuesday in the resort town of Ayvalik, from where migrants set off on boats to reach the Greek island of Lesvos"
Berlin warns Schengen is in danger (euractiv, link): "Germany has warned that the EU’s border-free zone is in danger, after countries that didn’t have border controls before Schengen was set up reintroduced checks for the first time since the 1950s. Sweden on Monday (4 January) imposed controls on travellers arriving from Denmark to try to curb an influx of refugees, prompting knock-on measures from Denmark that triggered fresh concern for Europe's passport-free Schengen zone."
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