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Is Hungary next on Islamic State’s hit list?

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors jihadi communications traffic, has reported finding an article published by Al-Wafa that says Hungary is a possible target of Islamic State terrorist. The article says:

“Today It Is Brussels and [Its] Airport, and tomorrow it might be Portugal and Hungary”.

 

The Hungary Times online reported that nearly two-thirds of Hungarians (65%) consider it possible that Hungary can be the target of a terrorist attack. This is based on the findings of a new public opinion poll conducted by the Hungarian think tank NézőpontIntézet.

Go to source: New Europe article 

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Dear ex-soviet #EU countries, you obviously miss your #fences…

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The next impenetrable razor-wire border fence in Europe should be built on the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria’s borders with Greece, according  Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the AP wrote.

Orban says it’s necessary because “Greece can’t defend Europe from the south” against the large numbers of refugees pouring in, mainly from Syria and Iraq”.

The plan adds another physical barrier between Greece and countries used as passage for asylum seekers and migrants to Europe’s 26-nation passport-free travel region, the Schengen zone,  that is considered one of the European Union’s most cherished achievements. But it is the countries that are newer members to the European Union, and that are just recently enjoying what it means to  be in a free Western zone, actually what it means to be the West, in modern and older political civilization, and live without borders as a European citizen . They were countries that lived behind razor soviet borders for almost 7 decades. Ex soviet countries.

As reported by AP, it is one of the new mini-blocs emerging lately in Europe due to the continent’s chaotic, inadequate response to its largest migration crisis since World War Two. The Visegrad group (an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) is also becoming a force that threatens the plans of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wants to resettle newcomers across the continent while also slowing down the influx.

“The plan to build a new ‘European defence line’ along the border of Bulgaria and [FYROM] with Greece is a major foreign policy initiative for the Visegrad Four and an attempt to re-establish itself as a notable political force within the EU,”

said Vit Dostal, an analyst with the Association for International Affairs, a Prague-based think tank.

Representatives of these four countries are holding an informal meeting ahead of the European Union summit on February 18 and 19.

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Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that she would press for implementation of the EU’s migration deal with Turkey at the summit this week, saying the alternative of closing borders to limit the flow of refugees to Europe would have dire consequences for the bloc.

“I will fight with all my strength for the EU-Turkey agenda as the right way to tackle this,”

the German Chancellor stressed  Speaking at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Merkel said the summit was about whether the EU-Turkey pact could successfully tackle the causes of the migration, or

whether the bloc should “give up and instead close the Greek-FYROM-Bulgarian border with all the consequences that would have for Greece, the European Union and the Schengen zone.”

 

On Monday, February 15, the representative of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas had made clear that

the EU’s response to the refugee crisis will be in cooperation with Greece and not against Greece,

invited to comment on the meeting of the “Visegrad four” with governments of FYROM and Bulgaria, to promote the proposal for the closing of borders to Greece.

Shinas emphasized that based on the latest Commission figures, there is significant progress in the registration of refugees and migrants in Greece.

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Greece’s Defense Minister  Panos Kamenos announced on Tuesday that Greece has met its deadlines and commitment to EU  to have the hot spots ready before February 18th,and that the four five hotspots were already functioning .

Spokesperson for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship of European Commission Tove Ernst, also, stressed  at a press conference:

“Any action to the FYROM border will be undertaken in cooperation with the Greek authorities and Frontex”.

Ernst Tove said that an additional EUR 10 million of European aid was given to FYROM, in order to improve the management of migration flows at its borders and in particular for the better systematic controls and better monitoring of the borders and identification and registration of third countries nationals.

She stressed though that this aid is not to finance the construction of any fence,

“the work of the Commission is aimed at the management of the border and not on closing them”.

In regard with the construction of hotspots in the Greek islands, Tove expressed the Commission’s satisfaction with the work in progress .

In Berlin, government spokesman Steffen Zaimpert  reiterated that the main priority for Berlin is to improve the guarding of the European Union’s external borders as a prerequisite for the maintenance of Schengen.

“From the perspective of the German government, it remains imperative to improve the guarding of EU’s external borders. This is the main requirement to put in order and to control and eventually reduce the flow of refugees’,

adding that “Without effective guard of external borders, the freedom of movement within the Schengen area will be jeopardized”

German spokesman Steffen Zaimpert added that “when we talk about a European solution, we mean a solution of the whole of Europe, which (solution) does not bypass any european country nor is it against an individual member state”.

Commenting the article of Sigmar Gabriel, to which the German Vice-Chancellor is against the possibility of the exclusion of Greece from the Schengen, he said: “I understood the text of Sigmar Gabriel as a very strong advocacy for european solutions – for european rather than national solutions. And this is a fundamental belief of the government”.

Strengthening the control on the Bulgarian-Greek and Greek-FYROM borders will not lead to a solution for Europe but will result only in a change of migration routes,

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov also, had said on February 15 in Prague.

Borissov was in the Czech Republic capital as a guest at a meeting of the Visegrad Group – made up of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia – at which the migrant crisis in Europe was the key agenda item.

Greek Prime Minister’s Office earlier last week had strongly denounced the Visegrad countries’ blame game .Go to this story

Visit our Aegean Borders Special Page on greek2m

 

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sources: sofiaglobe, Independent Balkan News Agency , AFP, New Europe, balcan eu

 

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@tsipras_eu office strongly denounces #Visegrad countries’ #BlameGame”

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“Today, the relocation program in other European countries has just reached the 0.17% of its implementation. The EU – Turkey agreement has not started, and the same happens with the readmission agreements for refugees who do not have right to submit for asylum”, government sources said in Athens Friday evening.

By a  Non- paper release the Greek Prime Minister’s office noted that

“Greece has repeatedly stressed that on this stage of the refugee crisis, only a United Europe by a common policy of solidarity and humanism can manage the problem effectively. The blame game has no practical effect. Success can only be implement by the full commitments of all sides. This is the position that has the support of the majority of the EU member countries  and the European institutions “.

The Non Paper strongly emphasizes “despite the common EU engagement in refugee crisis response, a number of Central European countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), are trying to devise a different policy on a completely different direction, by the following characteristics:

  • Closing borderS between European countries to refugees in violation of the humanitarian principles and solidarity  which are the signatories to the framework of the European institutions.
  • Continuing unacceptable pressure on Greece to depart from the rules of international law and stop the refugees rescues in the sea area.
  • Lobbying the EU to close the Greece’s borders .
  • Depositing “ideas” unrelated to any notion of humanitarian management of the refugee and unthinkable for the European value framework.

These proposals, the Non Paper continues:

  • Incorporate an unacceptable extreme right xenophobic rhetoric, unprecedented in European politics.
  • They aim to create buzz for domestic political consumption.
  • They distract the common European policy on a hugely important issue.

The government estimates that “European reaction against such political behavior is still not required”but calls for a more decisive answer in this regard stressing that it is currently necessary for Europe to address the issue in the way that has been decided.

“Neither refugee flows can be stifling, nor the refugees can be treated with fences, closed borders and camps.

Decisive implementation of the European decisions and the agreement with Turkey is the only way for a humane and inclusive management of the refugee issue.

Our country is leading the fight to implement a policy similar to the humanitarian face of Europe and prevent the fragmentation of the European area and the far right regression ” concludes the statement of the Prime Minister’s office .

Earlier in Friday, February 5, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received in his office in Athens visiting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and German Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere.

Greece will honour its commitments regarding the management of the refugee crisis and underlined that everyone must honour their commitments.

Alexis Tsipras said after the meeting and added that Greece was bearing a huge burden, at a time of great economic difficulty,though the highest cost, he said, have been  the lives lost at sea.

“We are talking about numbers when we refer to flow. For us an important number is that of those who have lost their life in the Aegean. We must not believe that this tragedy is something that simply happens that we can do nothing about to make it stop. Our first priority is our duty as human beings, to stop the tragedy in the Aegean,” he said, in statements before the cameras.

 

In statements after the meeting with Tsipras, Cazeneuve said that the goal was to restrict refugees flows “because Europe can’t accept such a large number of refugees in 2016, as that which passed through the EU’s external borders the previous year.

He said that France will contribute 60 police officers to Frontex, who will come to Greece, and also use 18 expert staff specialising in identifying fake documents, to assist Greek authorities.

 

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who was also visiting the Greek PM office had earlier told his country’s media that

Germany will be sending two coast guard boats, and gradually 100 employees, to Greece from March 1 to support government efforts to secure the EU’s external borders

The German Minister who has expressed his wishes to maintain solidarity in Europe has noted that the aim should be to do everything possible in order to maintain the right to free movement in Europe, with the participation of Greece.”

“We must all contribute and those who are under more pressure due to their geographical position, like Greece, deserve the support of Europe,” Maziere has said.

“We all have to do our homework, the European Commission and member-states,” he said, adding that that all parties should “honor agreements and European law,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had told Kathimerini in a written interview.

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