Sunday, 3 April 2016

The migrant crisis in Europe - 04/02/2016

Hungary Claims Europe Has 900 “No Go Zones” Run By Terrorists

2 April, 2016

[ Editor’s Note: Hungary hits the nail on the head with the 900 no-go terrorist nests all over the EU, and is challenging the incompetency of the EU leadership over quite a period of time. But out of good manners, Hungary will not say what I will.
There could only be one of two reasons, the obvious incompetence… but when it extends over a long time through many political administrations, one has to look deeper. Where were all the professional security people during all of this, both the civilian and military side?
The chances that they stood down — along with the political class — without a powerful entity putting on the pressure seems very slim in my book. I would not use the “doo-doo happens” convenient sluff off.
Where does this leave the unfortunate citizens, if their politicians and defense classes are using their own people as cannon fodder on this emerging mini-war of the worlds?
The good news is that we saw a significant political shift in the last German elections, and we have the Dutch vote coming up and the challenges from the newer East European members, Poland and Hungary, who are acting like they don’t want to be cannon fodder… but again, for whom?
The EU is not something they can punch in the face, or even spray paint like a ghost. We will cross our fingers that this early resistance we are seeing now has some staying power, because it will take a long time to undo the damage that has been foisted on Europe… Jim W. Dean ]

First published  …  April 02, 2016 –
More than 900 ‘no-go’ places with large numbers of illegal migrants are concentrated in EU capitals, such as Paris, Stockholm, Berlin and London, the Hungarian government says, adding no one knows how many terrorists arrive undetected.
The “no-go” areas can’t or almost can’t be controlled by the authorities. In European cities such as Paris, London, Stockholm or Berlin, where there is a high number of immigrants, more than 900 of these “no-go” zones exist,”says the website, launched this week by the government ahead of a referendum in Hungary on the EU quota plan.
The mandatory European quotas increase the terrorist risk in Europe and imperil our culture,” the website says. Illegal migrants cross the borders unchecked, so we do not know who they are and what their intentions are. We do not know how many of them are disguised and may be terrorists.”
The website also showed a ticking clock representing an asylum seeker arriving in the EU every 12 seconds.
Those who come to the EU illegally “do not respect our laws and do not want to share common cultural values,” the website says.
If we do not act, we will not recognize Europe in a few decades.”
The Hungarian government has long rejected a mandatory quota for the resettlement of migrants and refugees. To tackle the crisis, it argues the EU should secure its external borders.
In September 2015, in an attempt to prevent migrants from illegally crossing into Hungary, the government decided to erect a fence on the border with Serbia. It also introduced tough punishments of up to three years in prison for those abusing the border crossing or damaging the barrier.
However, the four-meter-high, razor-wire fence hasn’t stopped thousands of illegal migrants from forcing their way into the country.
In 2015, over one million asylum seekers arrived in Europe, according to data from the International Organization for Migration. Most came from Syria, where a civil war has claimed the lives of 250,000 people and displaced 12 million others since 2011, UN figures show. The asylum seekers also come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Eritrea, Mali and other countries.

Turkey builds first migrant centers, as Germany braces for new arrivals under EU-Ankara deal

© Marko Djurica
© Marko Djurica / Reuters

The tentative EU refugee-exchange deal with Turkey is soon to take effect, as the Germans are set to take in their first refugees and the Turkish race to build emergency accommodation for the thousands about to be sent back from struggling Greece.

Once the procedure starts on Monday, Germany will expect new Syrian families with children numbering in the “double-digit range,” German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate told reporters on Friday.

The agreement has faced both criticism at home in Germany and an overall mistrust from the international community that Turkey could be considered a ‘safe third country’ for refugees to return to, stemming primarily from the country’s human rights record and treatment of minority ethnic groups.

Under the proposition agreed last month, the EU will legally settle one Syrian in return for each migrant the over-strained Greece sends back to Turkey. All illegal migrants who have come to the Greek islands since March 20 will be sent back, although cases will also be considered individually.

In return Turkey is to get billions of euros in aid and political concessions from the EU.

Turkey is currently working on two centers for processing refugees, local officials said on Saturday. One is being constructed in the Aegean tourist resort of Cesme in Izmir province, which faces the troubled Greek island of Chios. The work includes laying hundreds of meters of cable, as well as installing fingerprinting and registration facilities and medical ones. The centers are only a stopover point on the way to actual refugee center.

"Once the health checks and registration is done for the migrants, they will be sent on to camps," Cesme Mayor Muhittin Dalgic told Turkish media, as cited by AFP. “We intend to complete this work with them staying for as short a time as possible.”

A re-admission center is also being constructed in Dikili, which faces the Greek island of Lesbos, and a new refugee center will be opened by the Turkish Red Crescent in Manisa – the first facility in the south of the country.

Meanwhile dozens of protesters gathered on Ataturk Square in Dikili on Saturday to express their opposition to the planned building of the refugee camp.

Places like Greece are experiencing the hardest fallout. Violence recently broke out in a Greek camp that has taken on one of the central roles in the crisis. Three migrants were hospitalized in a fight on Friday at a camp on the island of Chios, aid groups reported. This was the second time in two days. Violence was so rough that volunteer workers and organizations were pulling their staff out amid concerns for their safety.

Frustration is simmering among the refugees and migrants who don’t know where they will be sent. In line with earlier fears voiced by EU politicians, Greek migrant centers have begun to resemble detention facilities, with Greece tightening the grip on people’s freedom of movement until they are sent back to Turkey.
Turkey is to receive its first batch of migrants from Greece on Monday. Both countries are receiving criticism for their lack of preparedness.

The chaos in the Greek camps happened at the same time as Amnesty International was condemning Ankara for sending back hundreds of refugees to war-torn Syria – something the NGO said represented “the fatal flaws” inherent in the deal struck with the EU.

The plan appears to be going according to earlier predictions: not only are refugee rights being violated, but migration routes are also splitting up, with many illegal streams of people attempting to get back to the EU with the aid of smugglers.

Turkey, which has taken in 2.7 million Syrians since 2011, has always sharply denied repatriating them illegally. However, Ankara is yet to comment on the latest accusations from Amnesty.

Over 51,000 continue to be stranded in Greece. More than a million arrived from Turkey last year. As Athens struggles under the sheer weight, hundreds have been drowning in the Aegean Sea on the way from Turkey.

Outraged Greek farmer plows tractor through refugee camp

A Greek farmer, who has had enough of refugees tenting on his land near the Idomeni border crossing with Macedonia, plowed through the campsite on his tractor, destroying tents and scaring the inhabitants.

Several police officers were called on site on Thursday in order to persuade farmer, Lazaros Oulis, to stop plowing and abandon the vehicle.

Oulis explained his harsh actions with the need to produce food for his cows, the Greek media reported.

I need to plow my field. Not somebody else's field – mine! I have a business with 70-80 calves. I want to produce, feed them, because, financially, I can't take this anymore,” he explained.

The farmer said that he had “no problem at all” with the refugees and understood how difficult things were for them, but stressed that he had obligations of his own.

One of the refugees, whose tent was destroyed, called Oulis “a crazy man,” telling RT’s Ruply video agency that his children and him now have no place to sleep.

However, his fellow migrant Reshal Hamdo of Syria said that he understood the farmer’s feelings.

He is right. I say that he is right because it's his land. We don't know what we will do, this is not our country. It's not our land,” Hamdo said.

Some refugees said that Oulis started plowing the camp after a canteen he had set up on the site stopped bringing profit due to being outdone by eateries with lower prices.

On Saturday, residents of the Idomeni village blocked a road leading to the refugee camp to denounce its continued existence.

The rise in protest moods among the Greek population in the Idomeni area, which is mainly involved in agriculture, is explained by the fact that “cultivation season has started,” Xanthoula Soupli, the president of the local community, said.

People have lost their daily lives, they are locked in their houses all the time, they cannot walk around Idomeni’s central square” because of the migrants, she stressed.

Of course, we supported them from the beginning. We opened our houses. We were next to them, but it is impossible for a village of 100 to deal with 14,000 refugees and migrants," Soupli added.

Thousands of refugees on their way to Germany and other Northern European states set up an improvised camp in Idomeni after the Macedonian authorities decided to close the border with Greece.

From the Guardian

Greece on brink of chaos as refugees riot over forced return to Turkey

Rival ethnic groups clash in Piraeus and 800 break out of detention centre on Chios as EU deal brings desperation

The Greek government is bracing itself for violence ahead of the European Union implementing a landmark deal that, from Monday, will see Syrian refugees and migrants being deported back to Turkey en masse.

Rioting and rebellion by thousands of entrapped refugees across Greece has triggered mounting fears in Athens over the practicality of enforcing an agreement already marred by growing concerns over its legality. Islands have become flashpoints, with as many as 800 people breaking out of a detention centre on Chios on Friday.

We are expecting violence. People in despair tend to be violent,” the leftist-led government’s migration spokesman, Giorgos Kyritsis, told the Observer. “The whole philosophy of the deal is to deter human trafficking [into Europe] from the Turkish coast, but it is going to be difficult and we are trying to use a soft approach. These are people have fled war. They are not criminals.”

Barely 24 hours ahead of the pact coming into force, it emerged that Frontex, the EU border agency, had not dispatched the appropriate personnel to oversee the operation. Eight Frontex boats will transport men, women and children, who are detained on Greek islands and have been selected for deportation, back across the Aegean following fast-track asylum hearings. But of the 2,300 officials the EU has promised to send Greece only 200 have so far arrived, Kyritsis admitted.

We are still waiting for the legal experts and translators they said they would send,” he added. “Even Frontex personnel haven’t got here yet.” Humanitarian aid also earmarked for Greece had similarly been held up, with the result that the bankrupt country was managing the crisis – and continued refugee flows – on very limited funds from the state budget.

On Saturday overstretched resources were evident in the chaos on Chios where detainees, fearing imminent deportation, had not only run amok, breaking through razorwire enclosing a holding centre on the island, but in despair had marched on the town’s port. In the stampede three refugees were stabbed as riot police tried to control the crowds with stun guns and teargas. The camp, a former recycling factory, had been ransacked, with cabins and even fingerprint equipment smashed.

This is what happens when you have 30 policemen guarding 1,600 refugees determined to get out,” said Benjamin Julian, an Icelandic volunteer speaking from the island. “I witnessed it all and I know that all the time they were chanting ‘freedom, freedom, freedom’ and ‘no Torkia, no Torkia’. That is what they want and are determined to get.”

In the mayhem that had ensued, panic-stricken local authorities had been forced to divert the daily ferry connecting the island with the mainland for fear it would be stormed.

Similar outbreaks of violence had also occurred in Piraeus, Athens’ port city, where eight young men had been taken to hospital after riots erupted between rival ethnic groups on Wednesday.

With tensions on the rise in Lesbos, the Aegean island that has borne the brunt of the flows, and in Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonia frontier where around 11,000 have massed since the border’s closure, NGOs warned of a timebomb in the making. Hopes of numbers decreasing following the announcement of the EU-Turkey deal have been dispelled by a renewed surge in arrivals with the onset of spring.

Official figures showed that 52,147 refugees and migrants were stranded in the country at the weekend, with 6,129 registered on Aegean islands that had been almost completely evacuated after the accord was reached on 20 March.. Last year, more than 1.1 million irregular migrants streamed into Europe with over 850,000 pouring into the continent through Greece.

Pleas from Athens to fellow EU member states to reopen the Balkan route have fallen on deaf ears.

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