EU: Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe -10-8-18

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

Statewatch News Online
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
Follow us: | | Tweet

What you need to know: The German-Spanish migrant deal (DW, link):

"Berlin and Madrid are demonstrating unity with a joint agreement on returning migrants from Germany to Spain. Now Germany wants to seal similar deals with other countries. But what exactly does it involve?"

Humanitarian ship seeks European port for rescued migrants (euractiv, link):

"Human rights groups called on European governments on Sunday to tell a charity ship where it can dock and let more than 140 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean disembark in safety.

The Aquarius, run by Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF), rescued 141 people in two separate operations off the Libyan coast last week."

Are You Syrious (12.8.18, link)


"Earlier this week, AYS reported on the violent attacks and mass evictions of refugee encampments in Nador carried out by auxiliary forces. The violent evictions are ongoing this week, and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) published a story today from an eviction that occurred on Saturday. The police were destroying shelters in the “Lakhmis Akdim” camp when they were confronted by a woman with a very sick infant. They refused to give her any assistance, and carried on to destroy her shelter, leaving her alone in an isolated area without any way to reach a hospital."


"MSF and SOS Mediterannee, which jointly operate the Aquarius rescue ship, are urgently calling on European authorities to assign a port of safety to the ship, which is currently carrying 114 refugees. The people onboard were all rescued on Friday, and have been waiting at sea since then. During both rescues the Aquarius informed all relevant authorities of its activities, including Italian, Maltese, and Tunisian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres, and the Libyan Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). Despite their outreach to all these coordinating centers, no RCC has yet offered a port of landing." (...)

What Salvini teaches us about Operation Sophia (euobserver, link):

"In his political rampage since becoming Italy's minister of the interior, Matteo Salvini has recently begun targeting European crisis management missions such as Operation Sophia.

This mission, currently led by an Italian admiral and specifically pushed for back in 2015 by the then-Italian government, aroused his displeasure because of its rescue efforts for migrants in the Mediterranean." (...)

Divisive Aquarius ship resumes migrant rescues off Libya: NGOs (The Local, link):

"Two French groups operating the rescue ship Aquarius said Saturday it was back in Libyan coastal waters for the first time since triggering a diplomatic row over migration in June.

The Aquarius picked up 141 people on Friday in two separate operations, SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders said on Twitter.

The Aquarius "remains in the search and rescue zone, and on the lookout for any other craft in distress"."

Migrants Malta Does Not Want Are Powering Its Economy (Refugees Deeply, link):

"African migrants are moving from Italy to Malta to work, but find themselves undocumented and unprotected. Leanne Tory-Murphy reports that Malta’s economy is desperate for workers but the country is in political denial over migration."

Germany seals deal with Spain to return registered asylum seekers (euractiv, link):

"Berlin and Madrid finalised an agreement on Monday (6 August) that will see asylum seekers that reach Germany via Spain returned to the Iberian nation.

Interior ministers of both countries signed the declaration and it will enter into force next Saturday (11 August) after Angela Merkel and Pedro Sánchez first settled on an agreement during the June EU Council summit.

German authorities will be able to send migrants back to Spain within 48 hours and will take care of the cost of the transfer. Spain will then proceed with their asylum applications. Non-accompanied minors are excluded from the agreement and will remain in Germany."

Migrant rescue ship docks in Spain again after Italy refusal (The Local, link):

"An NGO ship which saved 87 migrants in distress off Libya docked in Spain on Thursday after roaming the Mediterranean for days, the third such vessel to be allowed in the country in two months after Italy refused to take them in.

The white ship belonging to Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms arrived in the southern port of San Roque, just over the bay from Gibraltar, at 9:20am (0720 GMT)."

Charities in Calais claim police harass British and other volunteers (The, link):

"In a new report, UK and French migrant charities in Calais say their volunteers are being systematically bullied by the police.

The UK charity Help Refugees and other NGOs helping migrants in Calais have published a report claiming that their volunteers are systematically harassed and intimidated by the police.

The publication co-authored by UK charity Help Refugees and French NGOs Auberge des Migrants, Utopia56 and Refugee Info Bus lists no less than 646 incidents relating to police intimidation over the past eight months leading up to July."

Migrants marooned in Bosnia – in pictures (Guardian, link):

"Migrants live in hard conditions in makeshift camps in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, near the border with Croatia as they wait to pass to other European countries. Thousands are seeking out alternative passage to the EU after the western Balkan route was closed by European leaders in 2016. Bosnia is experiencing an economic meltdown after years of war that left tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands internally displaced. The country applied to join the EU in 2016, but has been told that membership remains some distance in the future"

Are You Syrious (6.8.18, link):


"The Italian Parliament decided yesterday to gift the Libyan Coast guard 12 new patrol boats. They boats will be run by EU trained personnel from Libya. Proactiva Open Arms, as well as other sea rescue missions and human rights NGOs, have said this is a horrible decision to fund Libya and their modern slavery.

Libya continues to be the main transit country for people to try and reach Europe, according to the latest UNHCR figures. As of the July 31st 2018, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 12,633 people along the Libyan Coast. They brought back 2,167 persons in July, 3,453 in June, and 1,756 in May. 97 bodies have been found in all of 2018."


"The Aquarius has made it clear that moving forward, they will not wait for orders from Libya or any other coastguards; if they see people in distress they won’t let them die at Sea. They are starting to patrol 25–30 miles from the Libyan coast, which is still in the rescue area but not in Libyan territorial waters. They also refuse to take people back to Libya, as it cannot be considered a safe country."


"Around 300 Lawyers in Málaga work in rotations to provide legal services for people arriving by boats and rescue missions. The system set in place is working better at addressing the needs of Spain’s doubled new arrivals in 2018. The Cádiz Bar Association intends to replicate their organization, which is based on two pillars: first, de-institutionalized operation allowing for more flexibility and second, adequately training lawyers to help in identify human trafficking victims."

The Hope Project, Lesvos (link):

"“Since early 2015 we have been rescuing providing aid to refugees. They estimate that in 2015/2016 we brought in 600.000 people on the north shore, Although the numbers of arrivals have dropped boats are still arriving and we continue to help.”

Greek migrant camps at breaking point as arrivals continue (Channel 4 News, link)

"The migration crisis is shaping politics and influencing elections across Europe, and although the number of people seeking a new life on the continent has slowed, people are still coming by the boatload. One of the countries under the biggest strain is Greece. They've had over 500 new arrivals on their islands since Friday. We went to Greece, along with a group who know all too well the plight of escaping persecution - Jewish people brought over as children on the Kindertransport rescue effort during the Nazi era. We visited the island of Lesbos, which is host to more than 10,000 people stuck in camps, both official and unofficial, and had over 250 new arrivals just today."

Germany’s Seehofer pushes migrant take-back deal with Italy, Greece (euractiv, link):

"German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Sunday (5 August) said he hoped for a breakthrough this week in talks with Italy and Greece on taking back asylum-seekers already registered in those countries, as Berlin toughens its migration policies."

Are You Syrious (4.8.18, link):

Feature: The EU is sending children to death

"It is shocking even to report that some governments are deciding to deport children. Even more when the child is deported to one of the most dangerous countries in the world— Afghanistan.

However, this was recently the case in The Netherlands, where a vulnerable Afghan family with a minor have been deported to Afghanistan. (...)

The UN Security Council has listed Afghanistan as a ´country at war´. People who are deported from mostly EU member countries, are arriving in overcrowded Afghan camps where children are starving due to the inhuman conditions and freezing winters."


"According to the Aegean Boat Report, on Saturday morning, 22 people were dropped off on the shores of northern Lesvos, all from Afghanistan. During the night, at around 3am, a dinghy landed near Molyvos with 41 people on board. In both cases, volunteers were there to help and greet people. In July alone 1294 people arrived on Lesvos."


"Solidarité migrants Wilson reports about the raids over the last couple of days at the Chapel. The area was left empty of people after the raids. It is still not clear where the people were moved to. If you have any information about where these refugees were taken, contact Solidarite migrnats Wilson.

Faces Before Numbers report about the new asylum and immigration bill that was adopted last week. As they write, the new bill is “hugely and dangerously jeopardising the right to claim asylum and the rights of the people claiming asylum”"

Bahaa al Saaor : We will never forget you (Samos Chronicles, link):

"“It is Wednesday August 1st 2018.

What words can describe our feelings as we wait on the border between Syria and Turkey. We were all dreaming about freedom and hoping to be safe and to continue our life without fear.

The time is 12:00 in the night. This is the time when we start our travel.

The smuggler shouted ” come on, come on ” Our group is 9 men and one woman with her child.

We get to the top of the mountain then we waited to get an order to move again." (...)

And see: Fundamentally Flawed: The realities of the Mental Health Crisis for Refugees on Samos (Samos Chronicles, link); "They remind us that services and interventions which are not appropriate are worse than useless. They remind us that a total reliance on wholly western psychological /social work practices and theories are also worse than useless and can deepen problems. They remind us that amongst the refugees there are many talents and human resources which are brought to bear both to understand what they face and to find ways of coping with daily life in and around the Camp." (...)

Spain’s right whips up fear as migration surge hits Andalucian shores (The Observer, link):

"New rightwing party leaders are convinced that immigration will be a vote-winner, but on the front line in Algeciras there is more frustration than alarm (...)

In a country that has traditionally been pro-immigration and devoid of a significant far-right party since its return to democracy, their words have raised eyebrows and concerns. “The first thing we need to be clear about is that there’s a bit of unwarranted alarm over the arrivals we’ve seen over the past month,” said Villahoz, president of Algeciras Acoge, the local branch of an Andalucian NGO that works to protect, educate and integrate migrants and refugees."

UNHCR: Med arrivals in 2018 (3.8.18): Total arrivals: 62,304, dead/missing: 1,511. Cyprus: 73, Greece: 16,142, Italy: 18,475 and Spain: 27,614.

Search our database for more articles and information or subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates from Statewatch News Online.

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error