Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 1.9.16


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  EU: Commission: Relocation from Greece and Italy (30.8.16, pdf):


- 1,020 relocations from Italy out of 39,600
- 3,435 relocations from Greece out of 66,400

- Overall: 12,990 relocation places made available out of 160,000 from 24 EU Member States

 Denmark seals gate to immigrants as numbers hit new low (Daily Sabah, link):

"As part of plans to make the country even less attractive to newcomers at a time when asylum numbers and overall immigration are already down, the Danish government released its 2025 Plan to introduce more restrictions on border controls. According to the plan, the Danish police would be able to reject asylum seekers at the borders in times of crisis like in 2015 when thousands of migrants sought to enter the country."

 Greece: Stranded migrants stage protests outside camps (, link):

"Migrants are staging demonstrations at four sites around Greece, to protest delays in asylum procedures promised under a European Union agreement with Turkey.

Around 500 migrants chanting "open the borders" gathered Thursday in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki.

Protests were also held on the islands of Chios and Lesvos, while scores of migrants at a camp near Greece's border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) blocked the main highway linking the two countries for about 30 minutes."

 Turkish EU minister says no deal on migrants without visa-free travel (,, link)

"Turkey will not apply a readmission agreement with the European Union meant to stem the flow of illegal migrants if it does not get the visa-free travel to Europe it has been promised, its EU affairs minister Omer Celik said on Thursday."

 Jump In Arrivals To Greek Islands (News That Moves, link):

"More than 460 migrants and refugees crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands between August 29 and August 30, the highest number over 24 hours since April.

According to data from the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body, 462 persons arrived to the islands, including 176 on Lesvos, 128 on Kos, 86 on Chios, and 70 on Rhodes.

On August 29, 149 people arrived on Greek islands from Turkey, while 23 arrived on August 28.

The numbers may indicate a steady increase of arrivals from Turkey to Greece, despite the EU-Turkey deal. As of August 19, only 482 people have been returned from Greece to Turkey under the agreement.

Almost 1,500 migrants and refugees crossed from Turkey to Greece in June; more than 1,800 in July; more than 3,200 in August.

Including the new arrivals, more than 12,100 people are now waiting on the islands, where the capacity of overcrowded organised sites is 7,450."

 Are You Syrious (link)

Italy: 13.000 people arrived over four days

"More than 1,000 people arrived in Lampedusa, where the hotspot is beyond its capacity since it can accommodate only 480 people, the local media reports. Currently, there are 1,580 people in the hotspot. One thousand landed in Palermo and more than 600 in Cagliari. Altogether, 13,000 people arrived in Italy from North Africa in the last four days, mostly from Libya and Egypt.

On August 30th alone, 3,000 people arrived."

 Germany and Italy to step up repatriations of economic migrants (euractiv, link)

"Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed Wednesday (1 September) to step up efforts to send migrants with no right to asylum in Europe back to their homelands....

“It is important that we make deals with the countries of origin,” Merkel said, giving the example of the deal struck between Italy, France and Germany and Mali and Niger to promote economic growth in the sub-Saharan countries."

See also: Merkel-Renzi: more migrant repatriations needed (DW, link):

"During talks in Italy, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that failed asylum seekers will have to leave the country. Her Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi, said there were limits to the EU's migrant policy."

 How NGOs took over migrant rescues in the Mediterranean (euobserver, link):

"The launch of Operation Triton in 2014 shifted the focus of EU efforts in the Southern Mediterranean from Search and Rescue (SAR) to border control. Several NGOs have since attempted to fill the gap left by the absence of large-scale humanitarian operations....

In late 2014, philanthropists Regina and Christopher Catrambone set up the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), equipping a former fishing vessel with two drones and staffing it with former Maltese Navy personnel.

MOAS offered an example that has been imitated by other NGOs. In 2015, the Brussels and Barcelona branches of MSF developed their own SAR capabilities using their own vessels, the Bourbon Argos and Dignity I.

German NGO Sea-Watch also purchased a vessel to search for migrant boats in distress in 2015. In February 2016, SOS Mediterranee chartered a 77 metre ship to conduct operations in partnership with the Amsterdam branch of MSF.

The non-for-profit spin-off of the Spanish lifeguard company Pro-Activa and two other German NGOs – Sea-Eye and Jugend Rettet – also started rescuing migrants in the Central Mediterranean a few months later. The Dutch charity Refugee Boat Foundation and Save the Children are set to start SAR operations soon.

All these organisations usually conduct rescues between 20km and 50km off the coast of Libya upon authorisation of the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC)."

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