Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Islamic invasion of Europe update (October 20, 2015)

Behind Sweden’s warm welcome for refugees, a backlash is brewing
[...] But behind the warm embrace, a very different reaction to refugees is brewing in Sweden. In this Scandinavian country famous for its progressive politics and unfailingly polite citizenry, a party with roots in the neo-fascist fringe has surged toward the top of recent opinion polls with a defiantly hostile message to refugees: Those on their way to Sweden should stay out. Many of those already here should go home.

The growing popularity of the far-right Sweden Democrats mirrors a backlash being felt across Europe as the continent reckons with a refugee crisis that has broken all modern records and shows no sign of abating. The impact can be seen in country after country, with far-right parties hammering away at authorities deemed too permissive in allowing those fleeing war and persecution to find a home in Europe.

Anger over the refugee influx is increasingly fueling violence, as it appeared to do over the weekend when two Swedish schools that were being converted into shelters for asylum seekers burned down in what police said were suspected arson attacks. In the German city of Cologne, a leading mayoral candidate and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was stabbed in the neck by a man who authorities said had “anti-foreigner motives.”

Meanwhile, the backlash is already having an effect at the polls. In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party achieved its highest-ever vote share in municipal elections this month, while in Switzerland on Sunday, the ultraconservative Swiss People’s Party won a clear victory after campaigning against “asylum chaos.” In Poland, a nationalist party whose leader has warned that refugees will bring “parasites” and “cholera” to Europe is expected to triumph over the ruling centrists in a vote coming up on Sunday. Merkel’s approval ratings have dropped as Germany has accepted a historic number of refugees. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has only been strengthened as his government has rolled out mile after mile of barbed wire to keep them out.


Denmark warns Muslim migrants to expect long waits and "austere" accommodations
The Dutch government is warning asylum-seekers to expect long waits and "austere" accommodations while their applications are processed.

Junior Justice Minister Klaas Dijkhoff published a letter Tuesday to be handed to all seeking asylum in the Netherlands and is intended to clarify the lengthy procedures they face. A tough warning could also possibly serve as a deterrent to other migrants.

Some 2,200 asylum seekers arrived in the Netherlands last week.

The letter says the Netherlands does not have enough regular asylum-seeker reception centers to house all the new arrivals and adds, "That is why you are receiving an austere reception, such as in sports centers or tents, where many people share the same lodgings."

Dijkhoff also warns it will take nearly six months to process an asylum application and another six months or more before a decision.

The minister says even if people are granted asylum, housing shortages mean they may have to remain in asylum-seeker accommodation or be housed in converted shipping containers or converted office blocks.

'We're Under Water': Germany Shows Signs of Strain from Mass of Refugees
[...] Mohammed sleeps on a mattress in the auditorium of a home for children and youth located not far from the Nuremberg city center. The facility is operated by the Rumelsberger Diakonie, the local chapter of Germany's nationwide Protestant charity operation. Werner Pfingstgraef, who is responsible for unaccompanied minors at the facility, says: "If I compare the present situation with the floods (of 2013), then you have to say, we're under water." Every one of his employees, he says, is running "like they were on a hamster wheel."

Last year, the Bavarian Social Affairs Ministry forecast that 500 to 600 unaccompanied minors would arrive. But 3,400 came, says Pfingstgraef. He estimates that some 14,000 are currently in Bavaria. Still, despite the difficulties of the present situation, he warns against lowering standards in response. "If we aren't successful in getting these young people a school certificate and stabilizing them, we will pay for it bitterly one day."

It's everywhere, this anger with Merkel -- in the conference hall in Schkeuditz on Wednesday evening, for example. It's the kind of regional conference that Merkel likes to set up so as to calm ruffled party feathers. But this time, it is more than just ruffled feathers. This time, it is an open revolt.

It's not just the party rank and file who join the debate, but also regional officials, mayors and former state parliamentarians. They say that Merkel opened the gates to the refugees and that she should finally take steps to limit the inflow. One says: "In my opinion, you have failed."


Croatia is sending thousands of Muslim migrants to Slovenia's border "without control," ignoring requests to contain the surge
Slovenia says Croatia is sending thousands of migrants toward its borders "without control," ignoring requests to contain the surge.

The Slovenian government said Tuesday "the pressure of immigrants arriving from Croatia is intensifying. They send immigrants toward Slovenia without control, deliberately dispersed."

Croatia did not seem ready to slow the flow. On Tuesday morning, a train carrying more than 1,000 migrants from the town of Tovarnik and 20 buses full of migrants from the Opatovac refugee camp were headed toward the Slovenian border.

Slovenia's police said some 8,300 migrants seeking to head toward Western Europe were currently in reception centers in the small country, with thousands more arriving.

Slovenia, which has faced a surge of migrants since Hungary closed its border with Croatia on Saturday, says it can handle only 2,500 migrants a day. On Monday, 6,000 arrived.
Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Croatia had asked Slovenian police on Monday where they wanted to receive the migrants, but had yet to receive a reply. Ostojic said Croatia expects Slovenia every day to take in half of the migrants arriving in Croatia.

Ostokic said: "If we are receiving 10,000, then 5,000 people have to be transited to Slovenia. If the number in Croatia is 5,000, then it's 2,500, or 50 percent."

Slovenia says it cannot handle more than 2,500 per day.

Ostojic said over 204,000 migrants had reached Croatia this year, with 2,600 of them now in refugee camps and 2,500 waiting in the village of Bapska, where they arrived from Serbia, to be taken by bus to the border with Slovenia.

Slovenia is at a breaking point
Slovenia's government is pleading for help from its European neighbors as it struggles to cope with thousands of migrants arriving from Croatia.

A government statement on Tuesday said: "From Slovenia's perspective, European solidarity is at stake. It is delusional to expect a country with a population of 2 million to stop, regulate and resolve what much bigger member states have failed to do."

The government says Slovenia is the smallest country on the Balkan migration route, with limited capacity to control its borders and accommodate migrants.

507,000 Muslim migrants reached Greece this year, with 27,000 over the last weekend alone
Two international agencies say over a half million asylum-seekers have reached Greece this year.

The International Organization for Migration says 27,000 entered Greece over the weekend, while at least 25 people died trying to do so in the last week. It said Tuesday some 507,000 people have crossed into Greece this year, and 291 died in their attempts.

Latvia to build a fence along its border with Russia to protect itself from Muslim migration
Latvia says it plans to erect a fence along parts of its 270-kilometer (168-mile) border with Russia to prevent illegal immigration into the small Baltic country.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Daiga Holma said Tuesday that the fence, equipped with high-tech sensors, will cover 90 kilometers of the land border in several sections. It's part of a 20 million euro ($23 million) project over the next four years to strengthen and better mark Latvia's border with its eastern neighbor.

Some 300 migrants, mostly from Vietnam but also from Iraq and Syria, have entered the Baltic country of 2 million illegally from Russia this year, more than for the full year 2014.

The fence was planned well before the migrant crisis in Europe but Holma says the project has become "a priority" because of fears that traffickers will use Latvia as a route for immigrants.