The closure of borders in the north of Greece has created chaos: thousands of refugees and migrants wandering from Athens to Idomeni without knowing where to sleep and what to eat, where to lay their kids and elderly to sleep. FYROM, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria has closed their border today. Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia said on Friday they would each restrict the number of migrants allowed to enter their territories to 580 per day, while Austria already introduced a daily cap of 80 asylum-seekers and said it would only let 3,200 migrants pass through each day. However, FYROM’s borders remained close all day Friday, onloy 150 crossed on Thursday. Albania, that had earlier said to accept refugees, decided otherwise at the end of the day, after the West Ballkan Conference initiated by Austria. Prime Minister Eddi Rama said that his country will not accept any refugees.
Also the push-backs have started: Austria sent back 50 Syrians two days ago, they arrived in Idomeni , Greece a couple of hours ago. According to latest information, Serbia is going to push-back 1,000 people to FYROM and FYROM will forward them to Greece.
Refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants: all in one pot. End of story:
The Balkan Route is cut.
20,000-25,000 people are trapped in Greece.
Allegedly concerned that a humanitarian crisis may occur, the European Commission is working out a contingency plan to tackle the crisis and avoid the disaster.
“Senior European officials are embracing the so-far taboo idea of cutting off the migrant trail in Greece, a step that they acknowledge could create a humanitarian crisis in the country, says a report in the Wall Street Journal.
This so-called Plan B, floated until now only by Europe’s populist leaders, is a sign of rapidly waning confidence in other European Union policies to deal with the migration crisis—in particular in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s game plan of relying mainly on Turkey to stem the human tide.”
Apparently the EU are looking into the EU-Turkey Leaders Summit scheduled for March 7th. I saw on TV, German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that “results of NATO mission have to be awaited, first.” NATO’s sea-monitoring mission has been officially launched in the eastern Aegean today.
Should NATO’s mission fail and Turkey would show show much willingness for cooperation, refugees and migrants will be keep coming form Turkey to Greece. “And this has to be stopped” the EU officials think and they argue that bottling up the migrants in Greece would be more manageable than having them stranded in poorer, non-EU neighboring countries in the Balkans.
“Greece wouldn’t be the worst place to have a humanitarian crisis for a few months,” one EU official told WSJ, adding that the population there was much more refugee-friendly than those in the Balkans or Eastern Europe.”Four senior EU officials said that Greece, as an EU member state, could receive more bloc funding and other practical help to cope with the stranded migrants than its Balkan neighbors, where ethnic conflicts could flare up anytime. Once the message trickles through that migrants are stuck in Greece, the officials said the hope is that fewer people would attempt to come in the first place.”
The border rules in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia “are not in line” with the 1951 convention “because individual determination of refugee status and assessment of individual protection needs are not made possible,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
It looks as if the EU and Commission will certainly tolerate the closure of borders. Unofficially. But they will do, for the sake of protecting “migrants get stuck in non -EU Balkan countries,” as the joke in Brussels claims
GER Mutti = ENG Mom – attribute for Merkel as “Mom of the Nation”
PS the best joke of all these days is the Austrian President who declared today, he was ‘surprised” his country had closed the borders. I suppose, he had fallen asleep in front of TV during the last days – and his staff had forgoten him, as well.
Austria and the other Balkan states have no idea about reality, how do they thin k Greece can close her borders shoot all the refugees who are coming by boat??? then you would be moaning about human rights, The problem is mainly Assad get rid of him a\nd solve half the problem. If you are an economic migrant tell them they will not be allowed in Europe and send them straight back to the country of embarkation if they do not like it tough sort yourselves out now not tomorrow or another day but do not accept them in the first place
May be the prez was surprised but he was also against it as he was against leaving Greece and Germoney out from the blabla-session in Vienna, Germoney on the other hand is now facing the crazy problem of “missing” 140.000 refugees but I guess this is just another hoax as the whole time this “one million refugees” bullshit was a lie, not fitting the numbers going elsewhere and coming via Greece and Italy.
Die ZEIT wrote the missing were just a bureaucratic error. they were apparently counting backwards
I will just ask questions, right? Wasnt Greece asked like x months ago to build hotspots for refugees registration and distribution?
Is Greece so impotent or lazy or unable to do it?
I am not asking question, whether Greece is unable to protect its borders – it is commonly said it is not possible.
From my perspective Greece does nothing except for Crying: “we need this, we need that”. And when something happens where Greece is not included (based on previous experience that Greece does nothing anyway), Tsipras just squeeks: “we will block all support to other countries if you do not do this, or that”. It looks funny from Czech republic I must say.
Can it be that all these EU-rookies – beginning with Austria – play a game of gentrification to get old tenants out?
Your words and quotations look like if your “information” comes from anti-hellenistic media frenzy and politicians’ hunt-lies that never say that in six months in the Aegean over a thousand refugees were drowned by EU, because its members refuse to open their embassies in the Middle East to register any.
“Hotspots” can’t be build, btw hotspots exist at Santorini and they can explode every day and like every member Greece has the right to veto any important EU-decision on March 7; if there won’t be another bomb explosion as a cheap excuse again, and to give you an answer: Minister Kotzias was busy to solve the name-dispute with Fyrom, his shit looked promising also for Fyrom because they need Greece’s OK to join EU but now Vienna is provoking nationalist bullshit again, remember the last time when Vienna was a strong force behind bringing the civilian war to Yugoslavia? So now they tell Skopje: “Don’t worry Tschusch, we kick Greece out anyway” and similar comes Slovenia into the game because it just wants to fuck around with Pireaus. Funny in here is while Trieste has never any beef with Pireus Koder is bribing Austria and the whole Balkan to close the Greek border and so to block all trains from Pireus to Europe. And all these idiots have good luck that in Athens is no nationalist government in charge.
Also if one read “Greece was asked” it sounds like you give the order while calling it questions. The solution is very easy language: Greece rescuing more than 100000 out of the water is exactly what? It’s best done border protection! And Greece was asking since May for 1800 European police, just 700 came and some left for holidays a few days after coming, the money the EU was promising to Greece is not or very slowy coming, one reason that gets never published in Europe is that the EU-funds for this are only meant for refugees that settled down, whose request for asylum was accepted. Result is no money comes and Greece paid in 2015 2 billion.
If Europe wants more it MUST GUARANTEE European outside borders, as long as Europe is refusing it, Greece needs too much resources to control Turkish forces that 1500 times a year violate European air- and sea-space in the Aegean. Greece does nothing any way? How about giving the refugees all temporarily Greek passports, so that they can travel Schengen as they want but then is not only Greece a “hotspot” but all your airports too.
Greece is dealing with serious mixed messages on the “hot spot” issue. In August 2015, Frau Merkel announced that Germany would suspend their adherence to the Dublin Protocols. Thus, incoming refugees could travel directly to Germany and have their processing done there, rather than the country of entry (Greece). Greece is having enough difficulty funding minimal social programs for its resident population, so why, if Germany has offered to handle the processing, would Greece expend very scarce resources to develop such “hot spots”? Rather than spend money on that, which is an administrative issue, we have chosen to spend our time, sweat and money on humanitarian care for the refugees.
Several hundred thousand wet and cold refugees have landed on our islands since last October. The EU proudly announced, in mid-February, that they had just delivered 1,000 tents and 9,000 blankets to Athens, 3/12 month after the onset of cold weather. Greeks, the Greek government and private parties provided the life saving materials for the 200,000 refugees that the EU’s “generosity” did not cover.
And you are worried about paperwork processing? Perhaps the Greek people and Government simply have different priorities. We are more concerned with human lives than filling out forms.
As to “protecting our borders”, international law of the sea requires civilized nations to grant aid to those afloat and in need. In short, if Germany, Austria and a host of other self righteous nations had a maritime border such as ours, and had thousands of unsafe vessels in their territorial waters, they, too would be legally bound to take them safely ashore and tend to their needs.
Bravo! Exactly right.