Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Islamic invasion of Europe update (November 10, 2015)

Riot police and migrants camped near the French port of Calais have clashed in overnight violence that aid workers say reflects the growing frustration of refugees' inability to smuggle themselves aboard trucks and trains bound for Britain.

Calais police say officers monitoring the 6,000-resident camp east of the port city were pelted with rocks after midnight Monday and again Tuesday as migrants tried to block a neighboring highway that leads to the main ferry terminal. They say 27 officers have suffered minor injuries — mainly bruises — including 11 early Tuesday.

Aid workers said police fired tear gas canisters at rock-throwing crowds on the highway and in the camp. Migrants said sparks and heat from some canisters caused scorch damage to tents, but no serious injuries were reported.

European Union border control agency Frontex says more than 540,000 migrants arrived on the Greek islands in the first 10 months of the year, 13 times more than in the same period of 2014.

The Warsaw-based agency said Tuesday that more than 150,000 people made the journey from Turkey to Greece in October alone despite worsening weather conditions. That compares to 8,500 in October 2014.

Meanwhile, the numbers of people trying to reach Europe from Libya has been falling due to a shortage of boats available to smugglers.

That number was 8,500 in October, half of the number that made the trip in October of the previous year. The total for the year so far is 140,000 compared to 155,000 for all of 2014.

Greek authorities say more than 10,000 refugees and economic migrants have crossed from Greece into Macedonia since Monday morning, on their long trek toward wealthier western and northern European countries.

Macedonian border police were letting groups of 50 across at regular intervals Tuesday. But large bottlenecks formed due to increased flows toward the border crossing at Idomeni after migrants were stranded on the Greek islands for days by a ferry strike.

On Monday, about 2,000 people who were fed up with waiting up to 11 hours for their turn forced their way into Macedonia, but no injuries were reported.

Nearly all the migrants at Idomeni reached the Greek islands in frail boats from Turkey, paying large sums to smuggling gangs. On Monday, port authorities on the eastern island of Lesbos, where most migrants arrive, rescued 345 people who had been crammed into a luxury cruiser that ran aground just offshore.

Slovenia's prime minister says that "in the next few days" the country will start building razor-wire fences on the border with Croatia to stem the flow of migrants, but not to stop it entirely.

Prime Minister Miro Cerar said Tuesday that "at this moment about 30,000 immigrants are on their way toward Slovenia."

Slovenian officials have said a fence could be used to direct the refugee flow, not close the 670-kilometer (400 mile) border as was the case in Hungary.

Cerar has said previously that his small Alpine nation was being overwhelmed by the flow of refugees.

Nearly 170,000 migrants crossed Slovenia since mid-October when Hungary closed its border with Croatia and the flow was redirected to Slovenia.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says she plans to propose new legislation to deal with the growing influx of asylum-seekers into the Scandinavian country.

The new proposals are expected to include the possibility of turning back asylum-seekers who arrive at Norway's remote Arctic border with Russia if they are equipped with documents allowing them to stay in Russia.

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration said Tuesday that a weekly record of 1,113 asylum-seekers arrived at the northern Storskog border crossing from Russia last week, many of them on bicycles as the crossing is closed to pedestrians.

The agency said 2,452 asylum-seekers arrived in Norway last week, a new seven-day record. In all, some 30,000 asylum-seekers were expected by year-end.

The new proposals will be presented to Parliament on Friday and are expected to be adopted next week.

Finland says it is planning to house asylum-seekers in tents and containers because there is insufficient accommodation to meet the growing influx.

The Interior Ministry said that after a brief respite, Finland has again seen a surge with more than 7,000 coming into the country in October.

The ministry said Tuesday that the nation of 5.5 million now receives "the fourth most asylum-seekers per capita in Europe."

So far, more than 27,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in Finland this year, most coming across the northern border from Sweden. Last year, 3,650 asylum-seekers arrived in the country.

Germany tones down welcoming message for Syrian refugees
BERLIN (Reuters) - Syrian refugees who have made it to Germany may be sent on to other European countries, the German Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, an apparent reversal of an earlier policy that suggested all asylum seekers from Syria would be allowed to stay.

In August, Germany decided to waive for Syrian refugees the European Union's Dublin rules, which oblige migrants to request asylum in the first EU country they arrive in.

But since then, Germany has struggled to cope with the flood of migrants, the biggest on the European continent since World War Two. Last week, the Interior Ministry said a record 181,000 migrants had arrived in Germany in October. The government expects 800,0000 to one million overall.
Germany's Interior Ministry says ongoing asylum-seeker cases — including those of refugees from Syria — are again being reviewed with an eye on whether newcomers should be returned to other countries under European regulations.

The rules call for migrants to be sent back to the first European Union country they enter, but Germany had rarely been enforcing the regulation for Syrians, instead trying to persuade other reluctant European nations to share the burden of taking in the newcomers.

That's partially led to Germany being overwhelmed with some 758,000 migrants this year through October.