Austria and nine Balkan states on Wednesday agreed on several measures to choke off the flow of refugees from Greece, effectively imposing their own response to the migrant crisis while the European Union has been paralyzed over what to do.
The moves, by the foreign and interior ministers of the 10 countries, come amid Europe’s preparations for another surge in people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond as winter wanes and the weather turns warmer.
The practical effect of the steps they agreed on during a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday will probably be to keep more of the migrants in Greece, the primary point of entry into the European Union for people coming from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other troubled countries.
Among the measures was an agreement to grant entry to the 10 countries only to those “in proven need of protection,” which would essentially limit passage to Iraqis and Syrians and exclude Afghans and people from countries where the main problems are economic.
The ministers also agreed to set standards for what kind of information migrants would need to provide to be registered in their countries, to recognize formally that each state was responsible for protecting its borders, and to offer support to Macedonia, whose border with Greece has become the latest focal point for migrants trying to make their way to Germany and other prosperous Northern European nations. The Greek police forcibly removed Afghan protesters from train tracks along the border with Macedonia on Tuesday.
The Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said her country would send up to 20 more police officers to help Macedonia, which has also received support from Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia and offers of more assistance from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.Read the rest of the story HERE.
If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.