Thursday, February 25, 2016

10 European Union nations agree to bar entry of refugees

Feb 26 2016 : The Times of India (Chennai)
10 EU nations agree to bar entry of refugees

Plan To Keep More & More Migrants In Greece
Austria and nine Balkan states have agreed on several measures to choke off the flow of refugees from Greece, effectively imposing their own response to the migrant crisis while the European Union has been paralysed over what to do.The moves, by the foreign and interior ministers of the 10 countries, come amid Europe's preparations for another surge in people fleeing war and poverty in West Asia as the weather turns warmer.
The practical effect of the steps they agreed on during a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday will probably be to keep more of the migrants in Greece, the primary point of entry into the European Union. Among the measures was an agreement to grant entry to the 10 countries only to those “in proven need of protection,“ which would essentially limit passage to Iraqis and Syrians and exclude Afghans and people from countries where the main problems are economic.
The ministers also agreed to set standards for what kind of information migrants would need to provide to be registered in their countries, to recognise formally that each state was responsible for protecting its borders, and to offer support to Macedonia, whose border with Greece has become the latest focal point for migrants trying to make their way to Germany and other Northern European nations. The Greek police forcibly removed Afghan protesters from train tracks along the border with Macedonia on Tuesday .
Austrian interior minis ter Johanna Mikl-Leitner said her country would send up to 20 more police officers to help Macedonia, which has also received support from Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia and offers of more assistance from the Czech Republic, Hungary , Slovakia.
The Hungarian government, which has been among the most hostile to migrants, also announced plans to hold a referendum on whether the country should accept European commitments on taking in refugees. The document cited “limited resources and reception capacities, po tential consequences for internal security and social cohesion, as well as challenges with regard to integration.“
Austria recently capped the number of entries and asylum applications it would accept each day , a move that rippled through Europe and down to Macedonia, which tightened its border with Greece. That move stranded thousands of migrants hoping to head north from Greece, and Austrian officials said the 10 countries felt compelled to act immediately even if they favored a EU solution to the crisis.
French judge allows partial demolition of Calais `jungle', a symbol of migrant crisis
A French judge on Thursday upheld a government plan to partially demolish a shanty town for migrants trying to reach Britain on the outskirts of the northern port of Calais, an official spokesman said. The court did not immediately publish details of the decision by Judge Valerie Quemener, who was responding to an appeal by some 250 residents and nine charity groups for an injunction suspending the evacuation. An official deadline for at least 1,000 migrants to leave the southern part of he so-called `jungle' camp expired on Tuesday and the authorities have said they will use force if necessary to move hem to alternative accommodation in a nearby container park and other reception centres. Their repeated efforts to force heir way through the Channel Tunnel or to stow away aboard rucks have disrupted traffic across the vital link between France and Britain. “We will be vigilant about what is going to happen in the coming hours, and extremely vigilant about the coming days,“ a relieved Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart said.Belgium stepped up checks at its nearby border on Wednesday o prevent `jungle' residents entering the country to try to reach Britain from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. REUTERS

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