Pierre Mayaudon, the EU Ambassador to Bangladesh, shared this comment while discussing the current refugee developments with. He termed the situation “unprecedented”. “First by its size since already half a million refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year as compared to 125,000 in 2014. “Also unprecedented by its complex nature with human flows that include primarily victims of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan but economic migrants as well from Africa and Asia fleeing poverty and seeking job opportunities in Europe,” he said.“Climate change refugees might be among them even though they are difficult to quantify. “Unprecedented finally by its structural and long term character that puts Europe, its institutions, member states and social fabric under severe stress,” the ambassador said. The situation is being seen as the biggest refugee crisis Europe in facing since the World War II. Some of the countries have imposed strict border controls has learnt that several Bangladeshis are there in the crowd of refugees. Mayaudon admitted that the refugee crisis is a “massive challenge” but emphasised the positive dimension of the response. He insisted that “no apocalyptic thinking should prevail”. “Rather the crisis should be perceived as a chance to consolidate the European consensus and develop stronger and more adequate partnerships with countries of transit and origin.” The current developments, he said, demonstrate that shared democratic and human rights values, economic prosperity and global international engagement have made “the European model highly attractive”. “They also reflect the generosity of the European civil society that in the face of such an immense human tragedy had spontaneously reacted by urging the policy makers to allow refugees to enter Europe,” he said. “Not the least they display the determination of the European institutions to produce solutions against all odds.” On that account, the EU ambassador referred to the special meeting of the European Council on Apr 23 and subsequent interactions. Through those meetings, the European leaders had already articulated a three-tier action plan saving lives at sea, combating human trafficking and addressing the root causes of the crisis. The EU naval operation ‘EUNAVFOR MED’ was born soon afterwards. The ambassador said the EU also expressed its intention not just to focus on the "last mile" of the refugees' journey but rather to engage with the countries of transit and the countries of origin. To serve this purpose, the Valetta Summit in November will gather European and African leaders while another high-level conference will discuss the Western Balkans transit route. Resource mobilisation is also a growing dimension of the response, he said, as €4 billion have been allocated to the Syrian refugees, be they internally displaced or settled abroad in camps. The EU has committed €1.8 billion to a trust fund for Africa. “It is definitely a work in progress but one thing is for granted,” the EU envoy said, “There is no response but collective and comprehensive.” Responding to a question on the presence of Bangladeshis among them, Mayaudon clarified that they were “economic migrants, not refugees or asylum seekers fleeing war at home”. “Corresponding legal channels to enter Europe were therefore opened that they had to follow,” he said. For those stranded in Libya and other war-torn countries, he said the Bangladesh government had already proven its capacity to provide consular assistance and organise repatriation. On a bilateral basis, the ambassador said this overall situation should invite the EU and Bangladesh, in the interest of both sides, to engage in “a robust Mobility and Migration partnership”.
Fresh reports have now indicated that a total of 81 people were killed in Borno State on Sunday, 54 in Maiduguri and 27 at a checkpoint in a market in Monguno, 135 kilometres away. The latter bombing has been largely unreported. It was caused by a suicide bomber, two hours after the multiple attacks on the outskirts of Maiduguri. Locals residents and a hospital source said the Monguno attack killed 27 people and injured 62 others. “I counted 27 dead bodies from the scene,” said Malum Sunoma, a local resident who helped with rescues. He was speaking on the phone from a hospital where his brother was being treated. “Five vehicles conveyed 62 injured persons from the Monguno attack to the specialist hospital in Maiduguri,” said a doctor, who spoke on condition on anonymity. Maiduguri has been free of attacks for about a month. It was last hit by a bomb at the end of July and there was a skirmish with suspected Boko Haram militants on the outskirts of the city in mid-August.
With about a quarter of votes counted, Tsipras's Syriza party was on course to claim 35.3 percent of the vote, easily seeing off his main conservative challengers New Democracy on 28.1 percent. The interior ministry said that would give him 144 seats in the 300-seat parliament, just five fewer than when he first stormed to power early this year. New Democracy swiftly conceded defeat. A Syriza source said the party would turn once again to the small right-wing Independent Greeks party to form a coalition, restoring the alliance that first brought Tsipras to power nine months ago. He called the election last month when his party split over his reversal on the 86 billion euro bailout, which he had accepted despite having won a referendum mandate to reject similar terms. Tsipras expects to form a government within three days, another party source said. "The electoral result appears to be concluding with Syriza and Mr Tspiras in the lead. I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed," New Democracy's leader Vangelis Meimarakiis said. Third place in the election looked set to go again to Golden Dawn, a far right party with a swastika-like symbol, with around 7 percent of the vote. Tsipras's victory appears to have been stronger than some opinion polls had suggested. The firebrand leftist fought hard for Greece to be let off harsh austerity rules imposed by international creditors, only to back down last month after Greece's banks were shut and the country was pushed to the wall. More than two dozen of his lawmakers abandoned him, many saying he had betrayed his principles. He argued that his tough negotiating stance softened the blow of austerity and persuaded creditors to agree a restructuring of Greek debt. Apart from Golden Dawn and the communist KKE party, the major parties in the new parliament have now accepted the cash-for-reforms deal to keep Greece in the euro zone. "After years of almost unprecedented crisis, the vast majority of Greeks are endorsing parties that are promising to keep the country in the euro even if that implies thorough and painful reforms," Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Germany's Berenberg bank said. For former allies still opposed to EU-imposed austerity, however, Tsipras is a turncoat. Yanis Varoufakis, the outspoken former finance minister who infuriated EU officials with his refusal to accept their proposals, called the election "the 'legalisation' of the capitulation that followed the signing of the dead end, humiliating and irrational" bailout. The new government will also need to handle growing refugee inflows. Greece has been the main route into the European Union for tens of thousands of migrants arriving by sea, although nearly all of them quickly leave, heading north over land across the Balkans to richer countries like Germany. In a painful reminder of that crisis, 13 migrants died in Turkish waters on Sunday when a boat carrying 46 people en route to Greece collided with a dry cargo vessel and capsized, a Turkish coast guard source said.
At least 13 migrants, including four children, died when their boat hit a passenger ferry in the Aegean Sea off Turkey's Canakkale coast, on Sunday. The incident occurred when the boat carrying 46 migrants collided with a ferry off the coast of Canakkale, according to a report by local Anatolian news agency. The report said that 20 people were rescued and 13 others were missing.
The Austrian federal government on Monday announced it will send 2,200 armed forces troops to its borders to help police control the ongoing asylum seeker crisis. The news was announced by Chancellor Werner Faymann and vice-chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner at a press conference in Vienna. Faymann said the troop deployment was requested by the Interior Ministry, and will primarily oversee humanitarian aid, but will also help in a border control capacity where the need arises. He stressed that as with Germany's tightened restrictions, the borders would not be closed, and that the Schengen Agreement rules would still apply. Additionally the Dublin Regulation rules must also be adhered to, though he stated they should be replaced by "newer, better rules." Mitterlehner said the troop deployment would take place with immediate effect, and would mirror Germany's announcement Sunday that it would tighten border controls, saying if they did so Austria would also have to. This would send a clear signal to persons concerned that the "disorderly crossing of the border cannot take place any longer." He said the aid structures in place for asylum seekers in Austria must also not be overburdened.
It was not immediately clear why the government resigned but officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Sisi had been unhappy with the performance of several ministries. The announcement comes almost one week after the authorities arrested Egypt's agriculture minister over corruption allegations. Egypt is battling an insurgency headed by an affiliate of Islamic State while trying to attract more foreign investment in an economy reeling from years of turmoil that followed an uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Ismail will likely be appointed the new prime minister, replacing Ibrahim Mehleb. An engineer who held senior posts at several state-run energy firms, Ismail is seen as one of the best performing ministers. As oil minister, he oversaw politically sensitive reforms, slashing energy subsidies, and also paid back some arrears to foreign energy companies to improve Egypt's image among investors. Sisi has asked the previous government to carry on in a caretaker role until a new administration is formed, the statement said. Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, is due to hold long-delayed parliamentary elections next month, the final step in a process the government has said would deliver democracy. In his former role as army chief, Sisi toppled Egypt's first freely-elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Sisi was later elected president on promises of political stability and economic prosperity. He launched a security crackdown that put an end to large-scale political unrest in Egypt but has drawn criticism from human rights groups who accuse him of silencing the opposition.
"We are proposing that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refuges over the rest of this parliament. In doing so, we will continue to show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion," he said in a statement to parliament. Cameron has been under pressure to take in a far greater number of refugees to help with the wider migrant crisis that has seen hundreds of thousand of people arrive in mainland Europe. The figure is still well below the numbers being taken by some other European countries however, with Germany expecting to receive around 800,000 refugees and migrants this year. Britain has so far taken in only 216 Syrian refugees under a U.N.-backed relocation scheme and about 5,000 other Syrians who have made their own way to Britain have been granted asylum. Cameron said the refugees would be taken from camps in Syria and neighbouring countries. Since 2011, millions of Syrians have been displaced by civil war, with more than 4 million ending up in refugee camps in surrounding countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. "We will continue with our approach of taking refugees from the camps and from elsewhere in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon," he said. "This provides refugees with a more direct and safe route to the United Kingdom."
At a high-level meeting that lasted more than five hours, leaders from Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition also agreed on a series of other measures, such as speeding up asylum procedures and facilitating the construction of asylum shelters. In addition to the three billion euros for states and municipalities, the government is planning to free up an additional three billion euros to fund its own expenses, such as paying benefits for asylum seekers, the joint statement said. The agreement included widening the list of countries deemed "safe", meaning their citizens generally have no claim to asylum, to include Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. Among those already in that category are Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia. The aim is to speed up asylum and extradition procedures for migrants from southeastern Europe, in order to focus on refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The coalition meeting came at the end of a weekend that saw 18,000 refugees entering the country after Germany and Austria had agreed with Hungary to waive rules requiring refugees to register an asylum claim in the first EU country they reach. Merkel's decision to allow thousands of refugees stranded in Hungary to find a new home in Germany has caused a rift within her conservative bloc with her Bavarian allies accusing her of sending a "totally wrong signal". Germany expects a record influx of 800,000 migrants and refugees this year, by far the most in the European Union. In August alone, more than 100,000 asylum seekers were registered in Europe's largest economy.
But when asked, Ambassador Mohammed Abu Zafar could not provide specific numbers. “As per international rules we cannot be involved (with the host country) in the matter of our nationals seeking asylum to a country,” he told on Sunday. “But from Austrian interpreters in different camps handling the refugees, we have learnt that Bangladeshis are there,” he said. “This is not new. In the last eight or nine months we again unofficially came to know that every month at least 15 or 20 Bangladeshis seek asylum in Austria.” Bangladesh has opened its mission in Austria only last year, and the first resident ambassador, Zafar, presented his credentials in December. The asylum seeking in Vienna came to the fore after Austria and Germany threw open their borders to thousands of asylum seekers who have been travelling from Hungary after Budapest eased restrictions on their travel. Pressure rose after a recent picture flashed around the world of the body of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish resort beach. Based on information provided by the interpreters, Ambassador Zafar said Bangladeshis were coming to Austria from Turkey and Libya. “Some of them also come directly from Bangladesh in a difficult journey via Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey and it takes more than a year and a half for them to reach the Austrian border.” “We just keep an eye. We (Bangladesh mission) have nothing to do under international refugee convention.” At least 24 Bangladeshis died last month in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast when two rickety boats carrying migrants capsized.
As EU leaders struggle to agree policies to cope with a huge influx of migrants, many fleeing war in Syria, Sipila said his home in Kempele, northern Finland, was little used at the moment and would house asylum seekers from the start of next year. "We should all take a look in the mirror and ask how we can help," Sipila told national broadcaster YLE. He said an EU plan to distribute 120,000 refugees arriving in Greece, Italy and Hungary to countries around the European Union should be voluntary and hoped Finland could show an example. Finland's government yesterday doubled its estimate for the number of asylum seekers in the country this year to up to 30,000.
The Bangladesh-origin lawmaker from Hampstead and Kilburn posted the letter on her website on Friday. Keir Starmer QC, MP from Holborn and St Pancras, and Catherine West, MP from Hornsey and Wood Green, also signed the letter. Siddiq in the letter said all member states of the European Union “must look beyond their borders to address wider, global issues”. The Labour MP slammed the Cameron government for “not keeping with Britain’s long and proud tradition of helping those most in need”. She was critical of the British government staying away from talks to be held between other EU member states next week to see whether the burden could be shared more equitably. “But our failure to engage with our European partners runs far deeper than this,” said the granddaughter of Bangladesh’s founding father. Siddiq said Britain must be part of UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) programme to address the refugee crisis instead of opting to its own separate programme. Britain’s separate programme, according to her, will grant “just 1,000 Syrians, at the very most – a fraction of the tens of thousands whom Germany and others have helped”. She also slated the British government for being silent when the EU withdrew funds for search and rescue of the refugees in the Mediterranean. “This needs to stop,” she said in the letter. “We are calling on the British Government to push, internationally, for a number of practical actions to be taken to address this crisis,” the letter read.
After days of confrontation and chaos, Hungary’s right-wing government deployed dozens of buses to move on migrants from the capital, Budapest, and pick up over 1,000 – many of them refugees from the Syrian war – walking down the main highway to Vienna. Austria said it had agreed with Germany that they would allow the migrants access, unable to enforce the rules of a European asylum system brought to breaking point by the continent’s worst refugee crisis since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Wrapped in blankets against the rain, hundreds of visibly exhausted migrants, many carrying small children, climbed off buses on the Hungarian side of the border and walked in a long line into Austria, receiving fruit and water from aid workers. “We’re happy. We’ll go to Germany,” said a Syrian man who gave his name as Mohammed. Hungary cited traffic safety for its decision to move the migrants on. But it appeared to mark an admission that the government had lost control in the face of overwhelming numbers determined to reach the richer nations of northern and western Europe at the end of an often perilous journey from war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. On Friday, hundreds broke out of an overcrowded camp on Hungary’s border with Serbia; others escaped from a stranded train, sprinting away from riot police down railway tracks, while still more took to the highway by foot led by a one-legged Syrian refugee and chanting “Germany, Germany!” The scenes were emblematic of a crisis that has left Europe groping for answers, and for unity. By nightfall, the Keleti railway terminus in Budapest, for days a campsite of migrants barred from taking trains west to Austria and Germany, was almost empty, as smiling families boarded a huge queue of buses that then snaked out of the capital. The migrants left shoes, clothes and mattresses scattered behind them. Helicopters circled overhead. Austria's Red Cross said it expected between 800 and 1,500 people to arrive in its refugee reception centre of Nickelsdorf at the Hungarian border overnight. “Because of today’s emergency situation on the Hungarian border, Austria and Germany agree in this case to a continuation of the refugees’ journey into their countries,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on his Facebook page. Even as the buses arrived to collect them, some migrants remained suspicious, mindful of how hundreds of their number had boarded a train on Thursday that they believed was heading to the border but was stopped just west of Budapest by riot police who ordered them into a reception camp. “They told us that the buses are going to the Austria border,” said Ahmed, from Afghanistan. “I really don't know if this is true or false. If it is true, it is great... If it is true, it is victory. Maybe we can find a way now.” For days, Hungary has cancelled all trains going west to Austria and Germany, saying it is obliged under EU rules to register all asylum seekers, who should remain there until their requests are processed. Many have refused and several thousand had camped outside the Budapest train station. On Friday, a crowd that swelled to over 1,000 broke away, streaming through the capital, over a bridge and out onto the main highway from Budapest to Vienna, escorted by police struggling to keep the road open. Some clutched pictures of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The turmoil contrasted with a pledge by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to get to grips with a crisis he says threatens Europe’s prosperity, identity and “Christian values”; parliament on Friday tightened laws that his government said would effectively seal Hungary’s southern border to migrants as of Sep 15. Orban, one of Europe’s most outspoken critics of mass immigration, hailed “a different era”, but Friday brought more desperate scenes. A Pakistani man died, police said. State television said he had stumbled and hit his head as he ran down train tracks. More than 140,000 migrants have been recorded entering Hungary so far this year through the EU's external border with Serbia, where Orban's government is building a 3.5-metre (11.5-foot) high wall. Countless others may have entered without registering. Hungary says they have been spurred by Germany saying it would accept asylum requests from Syrian refugees regardless of where they enter the EU, contrary to EU rules. On Friday, lawmakers adopted some of a raft of measures creating “transit zones” on the border, where asylum seekers would be held until their requests are processed and deported if denied. The measures introduce jail terms for those who cross the border without permission or damage the fence, and may eventually provide for the use of the army.