Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 29.7.16


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 EU: Over 3,000 migrants dead or missing in 2016


The latest figures from the IOM show that 3,034 migrants have died or gone missing trying to reach Europe in 2016. The organisation has recorded 251,557 arrivals by sea this year so far. May was the deadliest month so far, with 1,138 people dying.

See: IOM: Mediterranean Update: Migration Flows Europe: Arrivals and Fatalities (29 July 2016, pdf)

 EU: Policy cycle on serious and organised crime: "illegal immigration" report and other documentation

The EU's policy cycle on serious and organised crime is supposed to coordinate the actions of Europol and Member States' law enforcement priorities in order to deal with a series of cross-border "threats", identified by Europol and subsequently approved by the Council of the EU. Amongst the current priorities is "facilitated illegal immigration". A leaked Europol report gives an overview of work undertaken during 2016.

 Turkish coup ‘increases’ migration flows to Greece (EurActiv, link): "Since the failed 15 July coup attempt, increased numbers of new arrivals have been recorded from across the Aegean Sea in the last ten days, according to Greek coastguard sources.

“It seems that the routes have re-opened, so the chasing game has started again,” sources said.

The island of Lesvos is currently hosting 3,495 migrants and refugees, Chios 2,509, and Samos 1,030.

Reports in Athens suggest that it is the first time since the EU-Turkey migrant deal that the number of refugees has exceeded 7,000 in the North Aegean Sea alone."

 HUNGARY: Referendum on refugee relocation quotas: The quota system – what it actually is about? What Migszol thinks about the plans of the European Union (Migszol, link): "On the 2nd of October, 2016, the Hungarian people will be asked to vote on the following question: Do you want to allow the European Union to mandate the resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the Parliament?

There is much to be said about the way the question is formulated, the bias it includes and the way in which it pre-empts the answer favoured by the government. Yet, we should not forget what lies beneath the workings of rhetoric and deception: What is the relocation scheme of the European Union actually about?"

See also: Hungary’s Orban says “every single migrant is a terror risk” (New Europe, link): "Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban said “every single migrant represents a public security and terror risk” and made clear his country refuses to accept the quota system that the EU Commission tries to impose."

And: Refugee relocation scheme "has clearly failed", says Italy's immigration chief (Statewatch News Online)

 Turkey recalls officials from Greek islands (ekathimerini, link): "Turkish officials stationed on Greek islands overlooking the implementation of a migrant relocation deal between the European Union and Turkey were ordered to return to Turkey a week ago, sources said.

According to the sources, Turkish authorities informed their Greek counterparts that the officials were being recalled from eastern Aegean islands because their passports had expired, but that they were expected to return or be replaced."

 GERMANY: Angela Merkel Sticks With Her Plan to Integrate Migrants (New York Times, link): "Chancellor Angela Merkel doubled down on Thursday on her pledge that Germany would achieve what she called the “historic” task of integrating hundreds of thousands of migrants, while defending freedom and democracy against the hate sown by terrorists.

“Today, as in the past, I am convinced that we can do it — to live up to our historic task, which is a historic test in the age of globalization,” she said, in an attempt to reassure the nation after three recent violent attacks, two of them linked to the Islamic State. “We can do this.”""

 UK: People smugglers caught in sinking dinghy jailed for more than four years each (The Telegraph, link): "Two British people smugglers who were caught in a sinking dinghy off the Kent coast with 18 illegal immigrants have received lengthy prison sentences.

Mark Stribling, 35, and Robert Stilwell, 33, a former Judo champion from Dartford pleaded guilty to conspiring to assist unlawful immigration following their bungled smuggling operation in which they had to be rescued by lifeboat crews."

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