Saturday, September 26, 2015

Islamic invasion of Europe update (September 26, 2015)

European nations shift to working together on migrant crisis
STROSINCI, Croatia (AP) — Cooperation replaced confrontation Saturday among European nations as thousands of asylum-seekers streamed into Croatia in hopes of creating a new future in Western Europe.

Despite steps that should eventually ease the chaos, the sheer number of people flooding into Croatia strained the resources of one of the European Union's poorest nations. At least 10,000 arrived on Friday alone, and Croatian authorities struggled to keep up with the influx of those fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

At one tiny border crossing point, Croatian police said thousands were abandoned at a remote crossing after Serb authorities bused them to a point near the village of Strosinci and left.

Unclear where they were, the migrants tried to cross into Croatia, but got lost in the nearby cornfields. Croatian police found them, and called in buses to take the travelers to the nearby transit camp at Opatovac, but individual families were separated in the chaos.

A woman from Damascus who only gave her first name, Ranaa, said she lost her sons, 2 years old and 7 years old, after they boarded a bus to the Opatovac refugee camp without her. Later buses leaving her area were going directly to Hungary, and bypassing Opatovac.

Distraught and struggling in English to make herself understood, she begged to be taken from Strosinci to the transit camp, where relatives have seen the children.

Despite it all, a new cooperative mode began emerging among the nations in southeast Europe. Hungary announced it had removed spools of razor wire from a section of its border with Slovenia, a barrier that breached EU rules about unrestricted travel within much of its territory. The gesture followed the reopening of the main border point between Croatia and Serbia.

The concessions, coming two days after an EU summit on the migrant crisis, suggested the bloc had become alarmed at the lack of cooperation among its members and the increasingly ugly tone of their exchanges.

Hungary's closure of its border with Serbia on Sept. 15 triggered a tsunami of responses that sent migrants scurrying from one border to the next as they tried to reach Germany, Austria and other European countries. Since then, some 65,000 people on the move have entered Croatia.

Croatia first welcomed the migrants, thinking they would pass through to Slovenia, Austria and Germany. But Slovenia refused to let the people pass, leaving Croatia responsible for thousands who had no food, water or shelter. The government in Zagreb then accused Serbia of shunting the refugees into its territory and closed the cargo crossing in retaliation.

Don't let Muslim migrants in, says Bulgaria's Orthodox Church
Sofia (AFP) - Bulgaria's Orthodox Church has called on its government not to let any more Muslim refugees into the country to prevent an "invasion".

The Balkan EU member has largely been bypassed by the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and poverty, many of whom set off from Greece through neighbouring Macedonia and Serbia towards northern Europe.

But Bulgaria has still seen Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis cross its southeastern border from Turkey.

"We help refugees who have already arrived in our motherland, but the government must absolutely not let more refugees in," the church -- which claims 80 percent of the population as its followers -- said late Friday on its website.

"This is a wave that looks like an invasion."

It added that the problems in the refugees' countries of origin "must be resolved by those who created them and the Bulgarian people must not pay the price by disappearing."

About 13 percent of Bulgaria's population are Muslims, including ethnic Turks, Bulgarians who converted to Islam during five centuries of Ottoman rule, and some Roma.