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Migrants flow almost stopped, but problems remain

Since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal, the number of refugees arriving in Greece has decreased drastically. On average, some 83 refugees arrived in April in Greece compared to 1,556 refugees in March. 46,000 refugees are still stuck at the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Yet Turkey still has not changed its legislation in order for it to ensure the protection for refugees from countries other than Syria, writes Heidi Plougsgaard in Jyllands-Posten.

Claire San Filippo said in an interview with France Interwe perfectly know that neither Greece nor Turkey are able to respect international and European law to register and deal with so many asylum applications”. “This is not a sustainable solution in any way,” said Ms San Filippo, who accused the EU of “cynicism” for granting Turkey the “safe country” status. Paul Collier argues in the Evening Standard that the EU’s deportation of refugees to Turkey is the wrong response to the continent’s refugee crisis.

Farah Karimi in Trouw writes that the ‘deportation’ of refugees from Europe to Turkey marks the end of the moral values Europe has promoted for years, because Turkey is not a safe country regarding the Refugee Convention. Austrian and Czech media, as well as report on Czech President Miloš Zeman’s meeting with his Austrian counterpart. Czech President Miloš Zeman said that Turkey used the deal only to seek money. Thus, Prague and Vienna doubt that the EU-Turkey agreement will solve the migration crisis.

Both countries reject the most recent European Commission’s initiative to introduce permanent mechanisms for sharing refugees among EU member states. The situation on Lesbos Island receives some coverage. Lenz Jacobsen writes on zeit.deabout the situation of volunteer helpers there. He describes how, in recent months, a new European community of values has developed among helpers on the island. The volunteers criticise the lack of support from authorities, Jakob Ussing in Berlingske Tidende, also reports on this. Greek and Cypriot media report that the European Commission will present on Tuesday its review regarding the adequacy of the measures taken by Greece with regard to the control of external borders, following the Council’s recommendations.

An EC Spokesperson stated yesterday that this evaluation constitutes part of the Commission’s plan to lift border controls before the end of the year. At the same time, the second Commission monthly report on the refugee resettlement and readmissions is also to be released today. Ms Andreeva also underlined that the Commission will keep sending the message that the people in Idomeni will have to be relocated to houses of reception facilities in Greece and not authorised to continue their journey in a dangerous and irregular manner.

Italian media give a wide coverage on Austria building a border fence at Brenner Pass. For instance, both Marco Zatterin in La Stampa and Tonia Mastrobuoni in La Repubblica note that the Austrian authorities are playing down reports that it is closing its border with Italy at the Brenner Pass. The country is moving to protect its borders, and taking a “muscular” stance on refugees, writes Ms Mastrobuoni. As the Italian government, the European Commission is irritated by this move from Austria. Austria’s move is to be tied with the upcoming elections.

Pope Francis also made an appeal to remove the barriers in Europe, saying that the “walls of indifference” are an “obstacle to remove” between nations. Furthermore, Italian Under-Secretary Domenico Manzione has warned that the number of migrants arriving on Italy’s coast is rising. Luboš Palata explains in SME that even though the V4 Group rejects solidarity with the Union, there is a compromise in sight and a chance to handle the migrant crisis.

Conversely, several papers in La Croix, Vecer and De Tijd among other note that Greece has accused Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of making “excessive use of violence” against migrants. But the FYROM Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers that activists from civil organisations and NGOs operating in Idomeni incited migrants to storm the border fence on Sunday. The unrest continues at the Greek-FYROM border. On Monday, migrants again held protests, reports LRT.


  1. That’s an apt answer to an inrtneseitg question

    Comment by Della on April 16, 2016 at 1:01 am
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