Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 27..9.16

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 Amnesty International slams treatment of refugees in Hungary (DW, link):


"A new report from human rights group Amnesty International has accused Budapest of allowing police to abuse refugees. It also suggested that the government has purposely made applying for asylum difficult"

See: AI report: Stranded (pdf)

 France urged to house children living in Calais camp on their own (Guardian, link):

"Children’s commissioners for France and England call on French government to rescue 1,000 asylum-seeking children as a ‘matter of urgency’"

 New EU border guard agency is no magic bullet (euractiv, link):

"The European Union’s new border guard agency is meant to remedy the failings of its predecessor, Frontex. Dr Lisa Watanabe asks whether the EBCG will be endowed with what Frontex lacked....

But, the new agency will still encounter difficulties in improving situations on the ground where border management and asylum systems are severely deficient or where national agencies are reluctant to cooperate with intervention teams that have not been requested. As such, the new agency will not be a magic bullet, but it should go some way to reducing the scale of emergencies."

 Maarten Verwey: EU-Turkey agreement is working, unaccompanied minors a challlenge (New Europe, link):

"However, the implementation of the deal has not been easy for all sides. The Greek side is facing issues with Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF), Internal Security Fund (ISF) and EU funding absorption, an issue that the European Commission plans to tackle by assigning the process to the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, that is also responsible for EU’s Structural funds in Greece."

 EU migrant quota idea is finished, Fico says (euobserver, lkink):

"Slovak prime minister Robert Fico, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has declared the idea of migration quotas “politically finished”.

"Quotas today clearly divide the EU, therefore I think they are politically finished," he told journalists in Bratislava on Monday, according to Reuters.

The quotas were introduce last year at the peak of the refugee crisis with an aim to distributing asylum seekers streaming into the continent among European Union member states based on solidarity....

The Visegrad countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - have long opposed the scheme, and presented an alternative proposal at the Bratislava Summit two weeks ago.

It calls for “flexible solidarity”, whereby countries that do not want to take migrants could contribute to the EU’s migration policy with other means, financially, with equipment or manpower, something the Visegrad countries are already doing in the Balkans."

Germany: CSU warns against Turkish visa liberalisation (euractiv, link):

"Bundestag Vice-President Johannes Singhammer (CSU) has warned that refugee numbers would increase if plans to grant visa liberalisation to Turkey come to fruition."

 Are You Syrious (26.9.16):

Greece: 51 new arrivals to Lesvos

"There were no new arrivals this weekend to Greek islands, but up until 8 o’clock this morning 51 people arrived to Lesvos. As for changes in the rest of the camps since Friday - Vagiohori dropped from 132 to 81 (-51) with overall capacity of 631 and Skaramagas jumped in numbers from 3450 to 3597 (+147) with only 3200 in official capacity. Still, there are over sixty thousand people stuck in Greece with numbers slightly rising daily."

New deportations to Turkey

"While we are playing the numbers game?—?76 people were returned from Greece to Turkey today on account of being deemed as “irregular migrants”.

Hungary: Fear and hate referendum to be held in Hungary this Sunday

"As the right wing government of Hungary is set to push this country into more hate by organizing a referendum on October the 2nd with the question: Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly. There are strong left wing parties campaign and civil society one trying to advocate for abstinence and make this shameful fear mongering referendum invalid. 22 Hungarian NGO’s and the Hungarian satirical party, the so-called Two-Tailed Dog Party, teamed up to campaign for invalid votes. They are spending the second biggest amount on its campaign (after the government), making fun of the government’s messages, using money donated by people."

 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the refugee crisis

This speech is from the UN high commissioner for human rights a must to read. 

"When millions of people see freedom's invitation only through the flapping canvas of a tent. When they carry their children and possessions on their backs, walking hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles. When they and their families risk drowning, and are kept cramped in appalling detention centers and, once released, risk abuse by racists and xenophobes. There is no cause for comfort here."

 New powers for the German Federal Police: undercover agents to combat unwanted migration (link)

"In the future, the Federal Police will also be able to deploy undercover agents. The provision is part of the new “Act to Improve Information Exchange in the Fight Against International Terrorism”, which the Grand Coalition adopted on 24 June 2016 and the parliamentary groups of the opposition voted against."

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