Friday, September 18, 2015

Islamic invasion of Europe update (September 18, 2015)

8 reasons Europe’s refugee crisis is happening now
1. The war in Syria
2. The route to Europe got a lot easier
3. The price dropped
4. The weather
5. Germany’s extension of welcome to refugees
6. The Syrian government’s conscription drive
7. The Syrian government has made it easier for Syrians to travel
8. The shortcomings of the underfunded international aid effort

EU says asylum requests up 85%
The European statistics agency says 213,200 people have applied for asylum in the European Union in the second quarter of 2015, with Germany receiving more than a third of the new arrivals.

Eurostat says the number of people seeking refuge was 85 percent higher than a year earlier, and up 15 percent on the first three months of the year.

Syrians and Afghans together made up a third of all asylum applicants.

For those three months, Germany took in the biggest share, 38 percent of all applicants. Hungary had 15 percent, Austria had 8 percent and Italy, France and Sweden each had 7 percent.

Just under 400,000 people applied for asylum in the EU in the first half of 2015.

Sweden struggles to provide care, protection for unaccompanied migrant children
GOTEBORG, Sweden – Hundreds of unaccompanied children are among the waves of refugees arriving in Sweden each week, where authorities are struggling for special care to ensure the minors get the right welcome and treatment.

“The number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum has increased dramatically in a short period of time,” the Swedish Migration Agency said on its website.

It said that up to 700 had arrived every week in August – most from Afghanistan. It estimated “there will be a total of 12,000 unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in 2015.” Their number increased from 7,000 in 2014 to 10,300 so far this year.

Norway says may impose border controls if asylum inflows surge
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway is ready to impose border controls if the number of asylum seekers entering the country were to surge, the minister of justice and public security said on Friday.

"We are assessing various measures. Increased border control is one of the things we are considering," Anders Anundsen told Reuters, when asked if the government was seeking ways to limit the flow of asylum seekers.

"It depends on the numbers that arrive. If they were to increase significantly or we believe we don't have sufficient control of our entry points, then we'll have to impose border controls. That's something we're continuously considering."

Tens of thousands of migrants from Syria and other countries are traveling to the Nordic region to seek asylum, especially in neighboring Sweden, which has one of Europe's most open policies on immigration.

EU outsider Norway, a member of the borderless Schengen area, had originally expected to receive 11,000 applications in 2015 but earlier this week said it was now more likely that 16,000-20,000 would come and that the final number could turn out to be even higher.

Some 2,300 arrived in August, up from around 550 per month in the first quarter of the year, and September data pointed to further increases.

German security officials say Islamic extremists are reaching out to migrants with the aim of recruiting them
The head of Germany's domestic intelligence service said in an interview published Friday that "we can see that Salafists are presenting themselves as benefactors and helpers."

Hans-Georg Maassen told the Rheinische Post daily that the Salafists are "specifically seeking contact, issuing invitations to visit notorious mosques, in order to recruit refugees for their cause."

Security officials estimate that some 7,500 people in Germany subscribe to Salafism, a strict interpretation of Islam that rejects many modern democratic rights.

Close to 500,000 Muslims have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year
The U.N. refugee agency is warning of a "buildup" of migrants in Serbia as its neighbors tighten their borders to the influx of people fleeing war and poverty.

Adrian Edwards of UNHCR says "the crisis is growing and being pushed from one country to another" as roughly 4,000 people pour into Greece each day and head north. He says stricter border controls by Hungary and Croatia threaten a bottleneck in Serbia, "which is not a country with a robust asylum system."

Speaking Friday, Edwards said: "You aren't going to solve these problems by closing borders."

UNHCR says more than 442,440 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year, and 2,921 have died trying. The International Organization for Migration puts those figures at 473,887 and 2,812 respectively.

Croatia sends 19 buses of migrants to Hungary but they are blocked at the border
Croatia has sent buses full of migrants to Hungary just hours after the country's prime minister said it could not cope with the influx. But Hungarian police met the convoy of 19 buses in the border area and refused to let them cross in.

Associated Press reporters on both sides of the border watched the standoff Friday afternoon.

After more than 14,000 people surged into Croatia in just two days, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said they could not stay and would be redirected toward Hungary and Slovenia.

Those two nations have also moved to keep migrants out, however.

Croatian PM: We will no longer accept migrant burden
ZAGREB - Croatia cannot and will not accept the burden of thousands of migrants any longer, nor register or accommodate them, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Friday.

Faced with an influx of more than 13,000 migrants in just over two days, Milanovic said he had called a session of Croatia's National Security Council and that it was time to deal with the problem in a different way.

"We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer," he told a news conference. "They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant 'hotspot'. We have hearts, but we also have heads."

Slovenia says no corridor for migrants 'at the moment'
Slovenia has no basis on which it would allow a corridor for migrants to pass through the country en route to western Europe, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

With around 1,000 migrants expected to enter the European Union member state in the next 24 hours, Slovenia has said it will stick to EU rules and receive asylum requests but return illegal migrants.

"At the moment we have no basis on which we could form a corridor," Interior Ministry state secretary Bostjan Sefic told a news conference.

Migrant Electrocuted Near Channel Tunnel
French police said the man, who is believed to be a Syrian national, was trying to climb onto the roof of a UK-bound train when he touched an overhead power cable.

Eurotunnel, the company that operates the cross-Channel link, confirmed a freight train was stopped shortly after leaving the platforms in France at 10.20pm last night, due to a number of migrants on the track.

Security personnel searched the train and found a number of migrants on board, one of whom was unconscious. They called emergency services but the man was later pronounced dead.

An official told AFP that the migrant had been electrocuted.