Greece blasts Austria as migrants get stranded

IDOMENI, Greece - Greece made a strongly worded complaint to Austria Tuesday for drastically restricting migrant crossings, as police at the Greek border with Macedonia removed hundreds of Afghan migrants stranded at a camp there.

See Full Article

Athens has criticized Austria's decision last week to cap the daily number of asylum applications and migrants crossing the country - an action that has left thousands stranded in Greece.

The Austrian ambassador to Greece was summoned to the foreign ministry to receive the complaint Tuesday after Austria invited officials from western Balkan countries to a meeting on migration in Vienna Wednesday, excluding Greece.

The ministry described the meeting as a "unilateral move which is not at all friendly toward our country."

More than 1 million migrants and refugees reached the EU last year, with more than 80 per cent of them travelling from Turkey to nearby Greek islands. Arrivals have continued this year at an average of 4,000 each day

The Austrian initiative prompted Macedonia at the weekend to stop Afghan migrants at the border, and slow the rate at which asylum-seekers from Syria and Iraq were allowed to cross the border.

In France, hundreds of migrants camped in the port of Calais face a deadline Tuesday evening to move out. , However, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve insisted the evacuation would be "progressive."

In an early morning operation, police at the Greek-Macedonian border ordered mostly Afghan migrants on to buses bound for Athens, in the south of the country. Journalists were not allowed to approach the area.

The migrants were to be taken to an army-built camp near Athens that was set up last week, following European Union pressure on Athens to complete screening and temporary housing facilities.

Mirwais Amin, a 20-year-old Afghan migrant, said he was separated from relatives after being stopping from reaching the border and camping out at a nearby site.

"Macedonia isn't letting migrants through. I can't understand why," he said.

"I can't get to the (border) camp, and members of my family are there. It's cold here and we have no food."

The relief agency International Rescue Committee late Monday said Macedonia's decision to turn Afghans away was "yet another example of arbitrary, unilateral decisions by individual states threatening to cause serious humanitarian consequences for desperate refugees."

Bill Frelick, refugee program director at Human Rights Watch, accused EU countries of turning a blind eye to plight of Afghan asylum-seekers.

"Once again, Europe is resorting to closing its borders to asylum-seekers, instead of coming up with realistic policies to address the plight of those fleeing war and repression, he said.

"By pushing the refugee crisis back into Greece and Turkey, other European and EU countries are ignoring their obligations toward legitimate asylum-seekers."

-----

Fisnik Abrashi in Prague, Czech Republic, contributed.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • LIVE: Crown tells jury Douglas Garland held a longtime grudge before triple slaying

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It was a years' long grudge against Alvin Liknes over a pump design which led Douglas Garland to plot what ended in a triple-homicide, a prosecutor said Monday. Crown lawyer Vicki Faulkner told a Calgary jury Garland stewed over the fact Liknes patented the pump -- "a pump that never made anybody famous. Source
  • New candidates for Heritage Minutes proposed by filmmakers

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Organizers behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes are asking filmmakers to draft up their best proposals for new additions to the series on key moments or figures in the country’s history. Historica Canada says they’ll produce two new one-minute films this year that join recent additions like the stories of Viola Desmond and Chanie Wenjack. Source
  • Cop who killed Don Dunphy testifies

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Newfoundland police officer who shot and killed Don Dunphy at his home on Easter Sunday 2015 says he did a “cursory background check” to assess any potential threat before visiting him. Const. Source
  • Revelers, rally-goers to clog D.C. for Trump's inauguration

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to clog the nation's capital for Donald Trump's inauguration and a major demonstration the day after, but how many will actually arrive to party or protest is an open question. Source
  • Woman gets 7 years for stabbing great uncle to death after he sexually assaulted her

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MELFORT, Sask. — A Saskatchewan woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the fatal stabbing of her 70-year-old great uncle. Candace Gail Moostoos of Melfort was convicted by a jury last October of manslaughter in the death of Alpheus Burns. Source
  • Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s widow arrested in California

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — The wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter was arrested Monday by the FBI, a U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official said Noor Salman was taken into custody Monday morning in the San Francisco area and is due in court Tuesday in California. Source
  • Vice chief of defence staff Mark Norman temporarily relieved of duty

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — One of the military’s highest ranking officers has been temporarily removed from his post. Vice chief of defence staff Mark Norman was relieved of his military duties by his boss, defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance, in a letter dated Jan. Source
  • 'Was this the leaker of Fake News?'; Donald Trump lashes out at CIA director on Twitter

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — His inauguration days away, president-elect Donald Trump is continuing to lash out at critics in the intelligence community and Democrats in Congress who are vowing to skip his swearing-in ceremony. The tough-talking Republican questioned whether the CIA director himself was “the leaker of fake news” in a Sunday night tweet. Source
  • Woman who burned daughter alive for marrying man gets death

    World News Toronto Sun
    LAHORE, Pakistan — A prosecutor says a court has sentenced a woman to death for burning her daughter alive for marrying a man of her choice in eastern Pakistan. Abdur Rauf said judge Chaudhry Ilyas in eastern Lahore on Monday convicted Parveen Bibi of burning to death Zeenat Rafiq a week after her marriage to Hassan Khan last June. Source
  • Hamilton man killed in Mexican nightclub shooting

    Canada News CBC News
    The Canadian nightclub industry is mourning a veteran in event security who died in a shooting at a music festival in Mexico early Monday. Friends have identified Kirk Wilson, 49, who was from the Stoney Creek area of Hamilton, as one of five people who died when gunshots rang out at the BPM electronic music festival. Source