Government is seeking a “coalition of the willing” to shelter migrant children across Europe. The EU is searching for way to avoid the second wave of the 2015 refugee crisis while thousands of migrants gather at Greece’s border. (Image: social media).
Germany is prepared to take in “an appropriate share” of the neediest refugee children hosted in overcrowded Greek migrant camps, Berlin officials said on March 9.
The official underlined that they are prepared to take children together with “a coalition of the willing” along with the other EU countries.
The announcement from the government came after Chancellor Angela Merkel met with members of her coalition government to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Greece including already existing situation in the migrants camps.
At present the crowds of migrants have been gathering along the Greece-Turkey border following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announcement Turkey borders were open to refugees seeking to cross into Greece.
German plan is set to help between 1,000 – 1,500 children identified as being particularly in need. This means either unaccompanied children under the age of 14 or children in need of urgent medical assistance. However no clarifications of methods of establishing real age of children were presented publicly. So far in absence of documents humanitarian organisations register age of migrants on bona fide basis without any further verifications. This practice has opened a broad gate of abuses, when young men of 25 years, and older registered as minors.
The Europeans discovered gross abuses in hosting refugee system when a Somalian “child refugee” stabbed a Swedish social worker to death. In the cause of prosecution the assailant has been identified to be at least three years older than the declared age of 15.
Alexandra Mezher, 22, was killed (25.01.2016) after she tried to break up a knife fight at an child migrant centre where she worked in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Educated to care for children Mezher herself had expressed concerns to her family about being the guardian for “big powerful guys aged up to 24“.
The Foreign Affairs Council adopted a statement on the crisis in Idlib and the situation at the EU external borders with Turkey. (Image: illustration).
In its statement, the Council acknowledges the increased migratory burden and risks Turkey is facing on its territory and the substantial efforts it has made in hosting 3,7 million migrants and refugees. The Council also strongly rejects Turkey’s use of migratory pressure for political purposes and restates that the EU and its member states remain determined to effectively protect EU’s external borders, in accordance with EU and international law.
In this context the Council reiterates the EU’s full solidarity with Greece, which faces an unprecedented situation, as well as with Bulgaria, Cyprus and other member states in their efforts to manage the EU’s external borders.
On Idlib, the Council notes that the recent and continuing offensive by the Syrian regime and its backers, including Russia, is creating untold human suffering and has provoked the worst humanitarian crisis since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.
The Council therefore calls for an urgent de-escalation of the conflict in Syria in order to avert a slide into international military confrontation, and prevent further suffering.
The Council notes the outcome of the Russia-Turkey meeting yesterday in Moscow and reiterates, in the strongest possible terms, its call on all parties to keep in place an immediate and a sustainable ceasefire, to guarantee the protection of civilians on the ground and from the air and to enable the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance by the international community.
“…In all our meetings I had the opportunity to express our understanding for the difficult situation Turkey is currently facing. But also I stressed that the current developments at the European borders are not leading to any solution” said EU top diplomat Josep Borrell adressing the crisis situation at EU-Turkey border. (Image above: illustration).
“Increased pressure at the European Union – Turkey border and unilateral actions are not bringing any positive answer. They are not bringing benefit to anyone. On the contrary it can only create problems and make the situation worse. And the ones who will pay the price are the people – the Syrian refugees and migrants.
“We also talked a lot about the situation in Idlib. Turkey and the European Union, have a common interest to end the conflict in Syria. We need to work hand in hand to address the common challenges. We need to cooperate in order to find a way to achieve this conflict. The situation is dramatic. The humanitarian consequences of military escalations are extremely grave. Humanitarian access needs to be urgently granted.”
“This is why today with my colleague the Commissioner in charge of crisis management [Janez Lenarčič] we have announced an additional €170 million in humanitarian aid to continue assisting the most vulnerable people in Syria, and among this money there are €60 million specially addressed to the humanitarian crisis in north-west Syria. The problem there is not funding, the problem is logistics, the problem is how to reach through the border, in a situation which is in the middle of the war, making every day more difficult to bring help to the people who need it…”
Greek officials said that in 24 hours between March 2 and March 3 morning hours, 5,183 people were prevented from entering the country, 45 people were detained they added. (Image: social media).
On March 3 morning, two men — one from Mali and one from Afghanistan — were arrested by Greek agents shortly after crossing the border, and loaded into a van with about 20 more people, from Somalia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iraq, the Associated Press reported.
The new flow of migrants attempting to illegally enter Europe comes days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his country was easing restrictions on those wishing to cross the border to leave Turkey.
Erdogan said his country, which has more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, is unable to cope with a new wave and demands Europe’s “support”.
“It’s done, the gates are open,” Erdogan said March 2 in a TV announcement. “You will have your share of this burden now, ” adding that Europe could expect “millions” of migrants and refugees from now onward.
“We strongly condemn the cynical blackmail by Turkish President Erdogan with the lives of people. The European border to Greece is not open and sending people there is dangerous and irresponsible. What happens at the border is fully Turkey‘s responsibility” wrote in his Twitter micro blog Manfred Weber, the leader of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) in the European Parliament.
“Significant numbers of migrants and refugees have gathered in large groups at the Greek-Turkish land border and have attempted to enter the country illegally. I want to be clear: no illegal entries into Greece will be tolerated. We are increasing our border security,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, reacting upon the tense situation at external EU border from Turksih side.
Greek border police have shot dead a migrant attempting to reach Europe as clashes grow following Turkey’s announcement that the border was “open.”
The Greek border is being besieged by thousands of migrants being convinced they can reach EU welfare havens following Ankara’s decision to stand down.
Following clashes that saw migrants attacking police with rocks and other objects, one victim was shot through the mouth and died at the scene.
“This is the first reported death among immigrants trying to cross the border from Turkey to Greece,” tweeted journalist Jenan Moussa. “A Syrian man is shot dead by Greek border guards. Here is the video.”
The Permanent Mission of Greece to NATO vetoed a statement that the Alliance was preparing to issue in support of President Erdogan, following the recent killing of 33 Turkish troops in ongoing operation in Idlib, Greek newspaper Vima reported, refering to their own sources. (Image: social media)
The Foreign minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias, issued direct instructions to representatives to use a veto if the text of the joint statement does not include a Greek proposal to refer to compliance with the March 2016 EU-Turkey declaration on refugees and migrants.
President Erdogan vowed to allow refugees to travel to Europe from Turkey, and as a result thousands of migrants stuck on the Turkey-Greece border have clashed with Greek police, protecting exterior EU borders.
Greek police fired tear gas at people who have amassed at a border crossing in the western Turkish province of Edirne, some of whom responded by hurling stones at the officers.
The clashes occurred after Ankara announced it would no longer prevent refugees from crossing into Europe following the death of 33 Turkish troops in northern Syria in battle for Idlib.
20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information below is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.“
20.02.20 16:30 II AMENDMENT: During telephone conversation with Europe Diplomatic Magazine Marietta Giannakou named the chair of the meeting Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. “Lord Campbell prevented us to express our opinion” Marietta Giannakou said. She was at the point to leave Brussels, and promised to send a statement as soon as she arrives to Greece.
19.02.2020 The Greek delegation walked out of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels on February 19 in protest at the stance of new acting president Attila Mesterhazy (pictured: from left to right Attila Mesterhazy, Jens Stoltenberg).
The incident took place as the five-member Greek delegation, which is made up of lawmakers from the country’s main political parties, were raising the issue of the contentious Turkey-Libya maritime boundaries agreement and Turkey’s violations of international law and Greek sovereign rights.
In a joint statement, the members of the delegation said that the president had been systematically interrupting their speech, leading them to withdraw in protest.
The delegation was made up of Marietta Giannakou from ruling New Democracy, Manousos Voloudakis, Theodora Tzakri and Marios Katsis from SYRIZA, and Andreas Loverdos from the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) alliance.
20.02.2020 AMENDMENT. Upon the request of NATO press office the information above is amended. Herewith is the received quote: “Acting President Attila Mesterhazy was not chairing the meeting and therefore did not ‘interrupt’ the discussion at any point.
We kindly ask you to correct your article and replace his name with ‘chairperson’ who will remain unnamed.“