Category Archives: News

Germany: refugee status implications

Refugees who return to Syria for holidays might lose their status in Germany, the Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the Bild newspaper. The measure is taken based on the situation of some newcomers simultaneously claim to be fleeing persecution there, and returning to spend summer time.

In case the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) would became aware of travels to the country of origin, the authorities would immediately examine a revocation of refugee status, he said. In addition, they observe closely the developments in Syria. “If the situation permits, we will carry out repatriations” Horst Seehofer (CSU)  Federal Interior Minister said.

Around 780,000 Syrians have fled to Germany in recent years. For more than eight years, the devastating war has been raging, however now the troops of President Bashar al-Assad have gained control over the majority of territories, and reconstruction of infrastructure and houses began. The World Food Programme (WFP) Director of Supply Chain Jakob Kern assessed the investment into the entire reconstruction of infrastructure to amount up to  USD200-300 billion. The armed conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011. At the end of 2017, the victory was announced over the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. In some areas of Syria the fight is ongoing. At the moment, a political settlement, the restoration of Syria, and the return of refugees are in the forefront.

Open Arms refuses to navigate to Spain

The Mediterranean Open Arms migrant rescue vessel has firmly rejected an offer of a safe port in Spain, explaining that the six day journey to Algeciras would be too risky for the passengers, whose moods have been already critical.

Open Arms map

Today, ignoring the maritime border,  some of 107 migrants have been jumping off the vessel and attempting to swim towards Lampedusa in refusal to respect the concept of border as such, demonstrating their determination to enter Italy. The NGO Open Arms has been flexing mussels, signaling to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, that his orders don’t mean anything to them, while international players, supporting illegal migration are more powerful than a sovereign state.

In his turn Salvini has used social media to expose the Spanish offer to point out it was made to cast him as a “racist”. He accused those 27 migrants who were allowed to disembark on humanitarian grounds of lying about their age and their illnesses.

They told me from Lampedusa that out of the 27 immigrants for whom the landing was ordered are minors, 8 have already declared themselves older! We will see others …
After the “imaginary sick”, here are the “imaginary minors”!
While others give in, I don’t change my mind.” Salvini wrote.

We do not accept Spain as a port to go because we are in a state of extreme humanitarian emergency. What they need is to be disembarked now,” Open Arms NGO spokesperson said.

The migrants, most of whom are  from Sub-Saharan Africa, were collected off the coast of Libya by the Open Arms NGO vessel navigating under Spanish flag, , transported upon their own initiative to Italy, and from the moment of arrival to Lampedusa island. they have been waiting for the permission to disembark.

Open Arms: 27 migrants allowed ashore

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has agreed to let ashore 27 migrants from Mediterranean NGO rescue ship Open Arms, all of them claim that they are “unaccompanied teenagers”.

Those who claim they are minors were allowed to disembark on the Italian island of Lampedusa after more than sixteen days at sea, and considerable international pressure, however so far only six EU state expressed readiness to welcome some of the passengers on the vessel navigating under Spanish flag.

At present there are more than 500 million Africans without birth certificate or/and passport, according to the World Bank, subsequently their age can be estimated only approximately through medical tests in cases it is requested by prosecution.  Among those without birth certificate 494 million are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Reportedly more than 100 migrants remain on board the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, and the NGO insists on Lampedusa (Italy) landing.

 

Juncker urgently hospitalised

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has interrupted his summer holiday in Austria to be urgently submitted to hospital to remove his gallbladder.

According to the press-release of the European Commission services, “had to shorten his holiday in Austria for medical reasons. He was taken back to Luxembourg where he will undergo an urgent cholecystectomy [surgical removal of the gallbladder].” 

Recovery from cholecystectomy might take from two up to eight weeks, dependent on the type of surgery performed in each specific case. In case of laparoscopic surgery with minor cuts, the period will take less time, than from a conventional open surgery.

Cholecystectomy removal is a relatively common and straightforward procedure. It is possible to live an active life without a gallbladder. However the multiple complications are also possible, depending to each individual situation.

The former Luxembourg Prime Minister, whose health has been a subject of numerous speculations for years, will conclude his mandate as the head of the European Commission and pass the responsibility to the German Ursula von der Leyen on October 31.

EU joins UN in wildlife protection

World Wildlife Conference: EU pushes for better protection of the world’s most threatened species

The EU will join other parties at the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the UN Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), starting in Geneva, Switzerland, this weekend to take additional measures to protect the world’s most threatened species against over-exploitation through international trade. CITES is a global treaty that seeks to make international trade in wildlife sustainable and to coun

The EU will push for more effective implementation of existing rules, including through a proposed Resolution on measures for ensuring the legality of trade under the Convention. In line with its priorities under the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, at CoP18 the EU will promote better enforcement of the Convention’s provisions by all Parties, in particular by those countries that repeatedly fail to implement their obligations and which may need additional support to avoid trade sanctions as a matter of last resort.

This is an absolute must to address illegal poaching and trafficking affecting elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, pangolins and rosewood. The adoption of a new ‘Strategic Vision’ for CITES for the years 2021 to 2030 will provide an opportunity to consolidate and clarify the role of CITES in the broader context of international environmental governance. This also includes the post-2020 biodiversity framework that is being developed in parallel under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Merkel-Johnson meeting in view

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting is planned soon, a spokesman for the German government said on August 16, he added that details would be announced later.

Previously the were reports that the German Chancellor will “stick to the line” that the so called “backstop” of Irish border can’t be removed, and the Withdrawal Agreement can’t be changed according to a Finance Ministry paper.

 

Juncker issues warning to Johnson

A no-deal Brexit would hurt the United Kingdom more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnsons government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pointed out in his remarks published during weekend.

“If it comes to a hard Brexit, that is in no one’s interest, but the British would be the big losers. They are acting as though that were not the case but it is,” Juncker told the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper.

The UK has been insisting Brussels to amend the terms of Britain’s Withdrawal agreement (WA), saying  would have to take responsibility for failure of orderly departure, and no-deal Brexit if it does not accept a compromise.

At the end of the day that would cause the most harm to the UK, Juncker said to a regional newspaper in the Austrian province of Tyrol.

We are fully prepared even though some in Britain say we are not well set up for a ‘no deal’. But I am not taking part in these little summer games,Juncker added.

The European Union has reiterated the deal negotiated by the previous British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May will not be re-negotiated.

We have made clear that we are not prepared to hold new negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement but only to make certain clarifications in the framework of the political declarations that regulate future relations between the United Kingdom and European Union,” Juncker said.

We are well prepared (for no deal) and I hope the British are too.

Britain has been requesting the European Union to amend the terms of Britain’s Withdrawal Agreement, saying otherwise Brussels would be responsible for a no-deal Brexit if it does not take into consideration British interest.

The backstop, agreed between Brussels and May’s government, aims to keep the open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and would effectively keep Northern Ireland within the EU’s Single market, which is not compatible with British sovereignty.

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