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Britain sends experts to Greece to help on better tackling smugglers, while FRONTEX accuses NGOs for colluding with them, Greek to me ! News

 

The UK is to send a team of experts to Greece to help root out economic migrants from the flow of refugees coming into Europe, allowing them to be sent back quicker, as it has been revealed ahead of the EU summit .

The British officials will take part in the pilot fast-tracking deportation for those not thought to be refugees, …

Go to our Greek to me ! article 

 

Find more for migrants’ smuggling  to Europe through Greece on our updated special page 

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Alert Guidelines for personal safety by the Ministry of Defense in the areas of migrant populations in Greece, by Greek to me !

It is considered dangerous to walk alone in the areas close to Greece’s hot spots and refugee camps, which are located all around Greece, and especialy in the North Aegean islands  . Read the Guidelines of the alarming document sent officially by the Greek Mnistry of Defense to the Armed Forces personel on our Greek to me ! Newsblog article

 

Find this in our Special Page Aegean islands No Way Out

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#Vienna summit sending to #Athens a slight election smell

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There were voices saying that Europe should build fences and walls, said the Greek PM in his statements…

Go to our full article by greek2m.org

 

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One after the other NGOs pull out of #Lesvos hotspots  sending strong message to EU

 

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding at the Athens port of Piraeus, where thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are stranded,

the Human Rights Watch said  on Thursday 24 March.

“The suffering in Piraeus is a direct consequence of Europe’s failure to respond in a legal and compassionate way to the crisis on its shores,”

said Eva Cosse, Greece specialist at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.

In the port of Piraeus there are three large camps and one small one,writes the Muslim Times.  Food is provided alternately by the Red Cross, the navy, a supermarket chain, the community of Piraeus and the local football club, Olympiakos.

By the Human Rights Watch, around 5,000 men, women, and children are at the port.

There are reports of fights between Afghan and Syrian men and mounting fears of sexual harassment and violence against women and children.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) earlier this week saying the so-called hotspots where arrivals are screened and registered on the Greek islands have turned into detention centres.

  • The UNHCR has since refused to transport people to the centres, noting Greece is not prepared to handle the case loads under the EU-Turkey deal.
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children have also pulled out.

“We took the extremely difficult decision to end our activities in Moria (on Lesbos) because continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider to be both unfair and inhumane,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, MSF’s head of mission in Greece.

  • Amnesty International accused Turkey of forcibly returning around 30 asylum seekers to Afghanistan “just hours after the European Union-Turkey refugee deal came into force”.

Aid agencies said cooperating with the Greeks at detention centres would make them complicit with an “unfair and inhumane” practice.

Two aid agencies,

  • the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and
  • the Norwegian Refugee Council –

said on Wednesday they were following the UN refugee agency UNHCR and aid organisation Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)

In the same day also, another NGO, OXFAM, has pulled out of Moria detention camp, saying that ‘Humanitarian aid should be delivered in a neutral environment where refugees have freedom of movement’.

Let’s hope the stance that’s being taken by most of the NGOs that operated in Moria will bring the EU to its senses and provide the refugees with the protection to which they’re entitled.

 

 

 

Source: Euobserver, Information Point Volunteers Lesvos

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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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NATO sweep in Aegean agreement devoted to the Greek Navy helicopter crash victims, said @PanosKammenos

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NATO intervention in Aegean operations to stop migration flows from Turkey to Greece was agreed in Brussels, while Greece was waking up on a national bereavement day, since a Greek Navy helicopter crashed in the Aegean Sea early morning hours with two crew members found dead and the third missing.

According to the Greek Navy, the helicopter disappeared from the Hellenic Air Force’s radar at 2.45 a.m. on Thursday as it was flying over Kinaros islet, near the island of Amorgos.

Returning extraordinary earlier to Greece from the NATO ministers meeting in Brussels, the Greek Defense Minister  Panos Kammenos  said the NATO agreement is devoted by Greece to the naval victims of the crash, and underlined that from now on, migrant smuggling is coming to its end.

From Brussels, the Greek Defense minister Panos Kammenos had tweeted that the negotiations have been “successful” at the NATO defense ministers’ meeting , and that the Greece’s positions had been accepted

the NATO agreement

It is the first  intervention of NATO in Europe’s migration crisis, with a naval patrol ordered immediately to the eastern Mediterranean to help combat people-smugglers, sources from Brussels said Thursday noon, after the NATO ministers meeting.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said earlier on Thursday said that NATO military authorities have been ordered to draw up plans for how the alliance could help shut down illegal migration and people smuggling across the Aegean Sea. as announced Thursday noon by the US Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, the Associated Press wrote.

NATO ministers “tasked NATO military authorities to provide its advice for options for implementing it,” said Ash Carter.

On Wednesday February 10, Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos had said to the press,  that Greece agrees to the involvement of NATO in Aegean for the refugees flows, but the country’s position would be that

  • Greek and Turkish vessels should have to be restricted to their respective territorial waters.

The Greek Defense Minister stressed also that

  • Any people rescued during these operations must be returned to Turkey.

Kammenos also stressed that

  •  territorial rights should be fully respected in search and rescue missions
  • and that Turkey would be obliged to submit flight plans for any of its aircraft that take part in NATO missions over the Aegean.

FRONTEX to turn back migrants to Turkey

Greece’s defense minister has said to his European counterparts that Greece wants an  agreement with neighboring Turkey that would allow the European Union’s

Frontex border agency to stop and turn back – within Turkish waters – boats carrying migrants to the Greek islands.

Panos Kammenos said since Feb. 8 that he has already made the proposal to his EU colleagues, who “showed great interest,” and that he intended to raise the matter with NATO officials in Brussels at the NATO ministers meeting

He said Greek authorities are in a position to locate smugglers boats as they leave the nearby Turkish coast, as well as alert Frontex and the Turkish coast guard.

Kammenos said this would “stop the great migratory flow to Greece” and stop the deaths of migrants and refugees trying to reach Greece in rickety boats.

 

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Greek Army  in charge of the Migration  Crisis Response

The involvement of the armed forces has been justified as the only viable way of meeting the tight deadline for setting up the hotspots and relocation centres. However, the plan announced by Kammenos goes far beyond merely assisting with construction projects.

Kammenos announced that the operation—the biggest ever undertaken by the Greek Armed Forces in peacetime, wrote the World Socialist Web Site—will be managed by the newly established “Coordinating Organ for Managing Immigration”. This will be headed by Major General Konstantinos Floros,a Special Forces Officer who has served both as a Paratrooper and Navy Seal officer. Kammenos justified Floros’ appointment stating,

“The choice for a Special Forces Officer as a coordinator implies that special circumstances require special people who can make decisions quickly.”

Floros currently heads the National Operations Centre,  located in the Ministry of Defence It is where the Coordinating Organ will be centred. According to Kammenos, civilians participating in the operation will only have access to a special designated area.

The Coordinating Organ will include:

* A transportation department, “which will monitor existing arrangements to transport refugees and migrants from the islands and hotspots to the reception centres”

* A health department headed by army and police doctors

* A catering department made of 10 different catering corps units

* An NGO department, which will coordinate all registered volunteers

While Kammenos was at pains to stress that the Armed Forces’ intervention is only temporary, the plans he announced are essentially a framework for establishing martial law on the pretext of the refugee crisis, Global research wrote.  Greece has come under great criticism from fellow EU member states on the grounds of not taking the necessary measures to grapple with the biggest migration flow the continent has faced since World War II.

 

MER-DAVT

NATO IN AEGEAN  Germany’s early wellcome

Since the very first moment of the proposal for NATO involvement was expressed , Germany had welcomed the discussions at NATO. Besides, it was during the meeting of Angela Merkel and Ahmet Davutoglu that Turkey asked for it the German Chancellor.

“It is good that the Turkish government has asked NATO to help for the surveillance of the sea. We are aiming at stopping the business of the smugglers,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

 

Follow 24/7 coverage on Greek, European and Western Borders Control by our special dedicated HomePage 

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@tsipras_eu visiting Turkey, where also #G20 meeting on #Migration is being planned

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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to visit Ankara on November 17 for talks that are expected to focus on the refugee crisis, as is already announced.

The decision for the visit came amid growing pressure on Greece to cooperate with neighboring Turkey. AlexisTsipras will conduct talks representing the EU, as Martin Schulz stated from Lesbos during his recent visit with the Greek Prime Minister, according to the local press reports. Turkey is the key transit country, Tsipras has repeatedly underlined, for refugees and migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

G20 request

Meanwhile, the European Union wants leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies to also help tackle a growing migration crisis when they meet in Turkey this month to discuss tax cooperation, trade and climate change.

EU Chairman Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker will push at the November 15-16 meeting for a global response to the challenge faced by Europe from the influx, Reuters reported.

In a letter by the two men to other EU leaders, they wrote: “Meeting in Turkey in the midst of a refugee crisis due to conflicts in Syria and elsewhere, the G20 must rise to the challenge and lead a coordinated and innovative response to the crisis that recognises its global nature and economic consequences and promotes greater international solidarity in protecting refugees.”

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Registration of refugees on the Turkish shores insists Greek govt

”Greece isn’t the point of entry” into the EU for refugees from Syria, the ”gate is Turkey, our neighbor”, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras has stated on Wednesday Novembber 4th, at the ceremony for the reallocation of 30 refugees from Greece attended by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, EU Commissioner for migration and home affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos and Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn (rotating president of the EU Council)..

”The objective is to go from reallocations to resettlements”.

”The least dangerous solution” for refugees and ”the most effective” provides for a cooperation between the EU and Turkey ”so that the whole process of identification and reallocation begins along the Turkish coasts”.

The need to reach an agreement with Turkey that enables the creation of registration and identification points in the country for the resettlement of refugees in the European Union has been the definite thesis of Greece on the EU borders contro; issue, since the very first moment that the joint poatrols in Aegean scenario had been expressed.
“What happens in the Aegean is a crime that must be stopped,” the prime minister reiterated talking from Lesbos . “What is required is to come to an agreement with Turkey so as to reduce the flows by combating traffickers,” he added.

Go to our fully updated Hompage, #Empathy@Aegean

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@tsipras_eu to Merkel: #Refugees screening should be done in Turkey, #Greece says no 2plans for joint #SeaPatrols 

the port of Lesbos rom the boat, by the Stauue of Liberty standing in the middle of the hundredts of tents of refugees staying there waiting for their ticket to Europe

the port of Lesbos from the boat, by the Statue of Liberty standing in the back and all around the hundreds of tents of refugees settled there waiting for their ticket to Europe

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coming closer to the port of destiny…

stepping out in the port of Mytiline that's what you see

stepping out in the port of Mytilini that’s what you see

Alexis Tsipras said officially NO to Angela Merkel talking on the phone on Wednesday October 14, hours before the European Council for Migration, and while Turkey had gladly said Yes to joint patrols of Greek and Turkish Naval and Coastguard Patrols in the Aegean.

Instead of that the Greek Prime Minister insisted to ask the identification screening procedure of migrants and refugees to be held on the Turkish coast, before the migrants make the journey of life-or-death that has lead to hundreds of drownings in the Aegean waters, and which make them pay to smugglers more than 2000 euros each.

This is a proposal officially first made by the official Lesbos’ Municipality Plan for the refugees crisis Response, by the Mayor of the island Spyros Galenos, who had already made diplomatic contacts with his counterparts in Turkey, and had found them positive so far, as the official document reports .

Jean Claude Junker had also officially received the proposal early enough, by late September, but had transposed the responsibility of   assessing it as a whole to the EU Commissioner of Migration, the Greek  Dimitris Avramopoulos, who has not answered so far and plans to visit Lesbos after the EU Council on October 15, as is announced.

But the mayor of Lesbos official presented the proposal to the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and the Austrian Chancellor Faymann on their visit to the island on October 6, and had analysed all the steps made so far, to make possible the solution of the identification procedures to be held on the Turkish coast . And this is what Alexis Tsipras openly and bravely chose to support , even though Jean Claude Junker openly asked the Greek part to say YES to joint patrols  After the NO of the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on public statements, while the scenario of joint patrols was still not formally presented to the Greek government, the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras openly repeated the NO to Angela Merkel , and immediately answered to her arguments for better safeguarding EU’s external borders by proposing the screening and identification procedures to be held on Turkish coast. What will be done, remains to be seen  not   Today is the critical meeting

Go to our Greek to me ! story on full details on this story , we have made full awareness early enough, based on Paris Karvounopoulos, the Defense reporter information about the common German and Turkish

Go to our main article by Greek to me !,

Joint Patrols in Aegean, -by EU blessings-, the trap of Turkey’s humanitarian guise

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Visit our special News section of Greek to me ! for Greece’s Armageddon Cross Roads on Greek to me Newsblog 

Greek to me ! Newsblog

find the news update on the eurobserver, as of Wednesday October14, 2015  Greece says no to plan for sea patrols with Turkey

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Action Plan to be set immediately for the #humantsunami while @atsipras goes to Brussels

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tell EU leaders to #RestartTheRescue. Add your voice, by ONE Campaign

It is almost three hundred migrants rescued only today by the Greek Coast Guard, while tragedy on its highest peak was the moment that coast guards brought up a dead toddler body. Two Syrian traffickers are arrested among them by the Greek Authorities which seem to be involved in international smugglers’ network

EU president Donald Tusk called an emergency summit on illegal immigration, which will take place Thursday, in Brussels and Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras is going to attend  as European leaders called for action after 1000 and more migrants, among them war refugees  drowned in the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant disaster yet.

In Greece, dozens of immigrants arrive ashore on the Aegean islands, every day, by having multiplied X30 the number of victims which are  more than 1700 lives, till now, lost, since the start of this year, on their swim thriller to the world’s West

21449949_EV_AM_200415_RODOS_NAYAGIO_METANASTES5.limghandlerThe Emergency Plan announced by @atsipras govt for the Unthincable #humantsunami

An Emergency Action plan has been decided by the Greek Governement on a broad meeting chaired by the PM Alexis Tsipras,Tuesday April 14, to discomfort the accute influx increase of immigrants ariving to the Aegean islands of the country

The decisions were announced by Gabriel Sakellaridis and concern the

  • the urgent need for developing specific areas  in camps and existing infrastructure, where we are all necessary medical examinations and compliance with all health and safety rules
  •  The identification of the newcomenrs and the sorting to undocumented  migrants or refugees after their transferf to reception centers in the mainland Greece* The Syrian refugees entitled to asylum, Syrian refugees will receive “all necessary documents immediately, or by the soonest possible process, (without circumventing the European treaties) by the authorities responsible in Greece*The government to set as priority in view of the EU Summit and the Meeting of the European Ministers of relevant jurisdiction, all necessary steps by the Greek governmenet to be taken, as the better possible response to the migration and refugee flows towards Europe to be addressed, in the context of European solidarity, by a proportional allocation of the refugees to all EU countries.

On the national Plan meeting for the Rescue Response of Greece for the Human “Catastrophe” of migration as President Hollande called it later , Dimitris Avramopoulos was represented by Aristides Kalogeropoulos, the special advisor to the Commissioner of Immigration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

In the meeting preceeded  Gavriil Sakellaridis’ announcements, which was chaired by Alexis Tsipras, Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis and Alternate Citizens’ Protection Minister Yiannis Panousis, took part , as well as the Christodoulopoulou and also coast guard officials.

“The refugee problem is international, not Greek,” Sakellaridis said. He stressed that most migrants arriving in Greece are fleeing war and deserves Greece’s and the international community’s solidarity and protection.

“Lately an increased refugee flow is observed thorugh the Mediterrannean Sea to our country,  for reasons showing to be related to the the ever-worsening situation in Syria, and elsewhere. This is confirmed by the fact that during the very same period there was strongly marked an upward trend influx to Italy. The earliest records show that the motivation of the vast majority of these people are  not primarily financially driven to immigrate, but due to the immediate danger fro their life, “and this is obviously a factor to be taken seriously.

“The refugee problem is international and not Greek. It requires seriousness, composure and above all humanity.

Greek Commissioner : “Europe will play its role…”

From the Greek commissioner ‘s part,  there has been expressed, since the first moments of this crisis, to the Greek government, the acknowledgement that Europe should prepare for a difficult year of immigration -as  Demetres Avramopoulos had concluded on this speech at the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament,

He had early said “The European Commission is ready to play the role it deserves to support and help member states – particularly those most affected and are most in need. “

Recalling that “the European Commission has recently provided emergency financial aid to certain Member States and is prepared to repeat if necessary”, he promised that the European Commission will contribute through Frontex protecting the EU’s external borders, “not only in Italy and along the Greek and Bulgarian borders. “

One day after the schocking Lampedusa disaster an extraordinary EU Summit for Migration was held, on which the Commissioner announced the ten points of Action for the humanitarian crisis in Aegean  on Monday April  20,

Municipal authorities in Athens, where most migrants end up, after their arrest and detention on the islands,   have demonstrated to the government their discomfort saying they were unable to host additional arrivals.690_eb60959d-78dd-4c12-ac39-923f19793160Newborns in that vessel; In the middle of that Sea ditch while thousands souls and bodies, battle with life and death a Cameroun migrants brought to life these healthy twins..

The Alternate Immigration Policy Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou said around 100,000 immigrants are expected to enter Greece this year, adding that most were refugees merit  protection.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, on the other side, has said Greece cannot handle such an endless influx of migrants, which threatens to augment more.

President Hollande, having heard just the possibility the victims drown at the Lampedusa disaster to be 700, -and not 1100+ as finally came out- said it would be “the worst catastrophe” in the Mediterranean in recent years.

United Nations prediced on April 21 that 30.000 deaths are expected through migrating proceedures in Mediterranean in 2015

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