Saturday, January 16, 2016

Islamic invasion of Europe update (January 15-16, 2016)

Migrants arriving in Greece find Europe's welcome has worn thin
ATHENS -- Europe is re-thinking its refugee policy after more than a million settled there last year, fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa.

New arrivals in Greece are finding things have changed.

Despite the freezing cold, the rough seas, and the risk of drowning, the migrants keep coming. More than a thousand people arrive each day in Greece, but now Europe's welcome mat is wearing thin.

Farshad Rahimi Fard told CBS News he left Iran in search of religious freedom, paying a smuggler nearly $3,000.

But he's now stranded in Greece, living in an abandoned hockey stadium. Farshad could face deportation after he, like thousands of others, was turned away by Macedonian border guards on the route to Germany.

"We tried to go, but the soldiers of Macedonia tell us 'Go back. No Iranian, go back.'"

Hundreds of other stranded migrants, many from North Africa, are being held under lock and key in a Greek detention center.

CBS News was denied permission to go inside, but one of the inmates sent us videos showing the conditions -- including a protest that he said was put down with tear gas.

Some European countries have built razor wire fences, and others will now only accept refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As an Iranian, Farshad can go no further than Greece. His dreams of a new life in Europe are destroyed.

"We are human like other countries, we are not terrorists. Why the ways for Iranians is closed? Why?"

Nearly all of the migrants arriving in Europe set off in boats from Turkey. Last year, Europe promised Turkey around $3 billion in return for its help stemming the flow of people.

But so far, that plan hasn't worked.

As Danes debate, Swiss already seizing refugees' cash
Geneva (AFP) - As Denmark faces a barrage of criticism over its controversial plan to seize refugees' valuables, Switzerland has already been doing so for years, Swiss authorities said Friday.

Swiss law has since the 1990s required asylum seekers to contribute to the costs of hosting them in the wealthy Alpine country.

The country is permitted to confiscate from people seeking asylum in the country amounts over 1,000 Swiss francs ($995, 913 euros), Celine Kohlprath, a spokeswoman for Swiss migration authorities, told AFP.

Her statement confirmed information revealed in a debate programme on the public SRF channel Thursday.

"This practice is based on the fact that Switzerland (wants) people arriving in Switzerland to contribute as far as possible to the costs of the asylum process and the social assistance provided," she wrote in an email.

An information notice given to asylum seekers on arrival was displayed on Thursday's "10 vor 10" debate programme, stating: "If you have ... more than 1,000 Swiss francs when you arrive at the reception centre, you must hand them over against a receipt."


German minister proposes Europe petrol tax to pay for Muslim migrant crisis
Berlin (AFP) - Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Saturday raised the prospect of introducing a tax on petrol in Europe to pay for solving the migrant crisis, in remarks to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

"If national budgets or the EU budget are insufficient, let's agree to set up, for instance, a tax of a certain amount on each litre of petrol," Schaeuble said.

"This way we would have the means for a European response to the refugee issue," he said, in an apparent reference to beefing up security at the European Union's outer borders in order to stop the migrant inflow.

"Finding a solution to the problem must not fail because of a lack of means."

His petrol tax proposal however met with swift criticism even from within the ranks of his CDU conservative party -- also that of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The party's vice president Julia Kloeckner, who claims to have talked with Merkel, said such an idea was indefensible because it tells taxpayers that it's up to them "to pay the bill" for refugees.