Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49

Thread: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

  1. #1
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Europe has had issues with refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea for years, as a result of its strict border policy. These two articles give a decent overview of the matter.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/21/8460247...children-drown

    When you ask why Europe seems to be responding so callously to the migrants who regularly drown trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea — perhaps 600 or more died this weekend alone, when a migrant boat foundered and sank off the Italian coast — the answer that comes back is that to many Europeans, these are just economic migrants hoping to game European immigration and welfare systems.

    What European leaders do not seem to see are the children among these migrants. Kids, even infants, are a common presence on the boats floating north toward Europe. Wire services are full of photos of tiny faces peering over the sides of lifeboats, or being carried by rescue workers who have saved them from the sea.

    One of the migrants rescued from this weekend's disaster said there had been dozens of children on the boat. None were among the 28 survivors.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/21/8462219...anean-drowning

    Over the weekend, hundreds of migrants — 800, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, including many children — died when their ship capsized off the coast of Libya. EU leaders have already responded with a 10-point plan to deal with the Mediterranean migration crisis, focusing on increasing sea patrols and dismantling smuggling operations. Italy's former Mare Nostrum operation, a search-and-rescue mission that saved more than 100,000 migrants before being canceled last year, is being held up as a model of how to proceed. "The short-term solution is fairly obvious," Joshua Keating writes at Slate. "The EU as a whole needs a more ambitious plan to rescue migrants."

    That's definitely true. But even the best search-and-rescue operation will only manage the problem. It won't go away until life in the EU is no longer dramatically better than life in the migrants' home countries. And while many migrants are fleeing violence and political instability in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, many others are merely fleeing poverty. One survivor of this weekend's ship sinking was reportedly from Bangladesh.
    These articles do get a few things wrong. Mare Nostrum was ended because it was Italy that was paying the bills (€10 mln per month) and it was becoming unsustainable for Italy. However, European countries did not bother to continue it for the reasons stated by Vox and went with Triton instead. And it's not as much the case that voters are generally becoming more anti-immigrant as that this is an issue that polarises the electorate. But part of the political mainstream depends on the electorate that opposes allowing more refugees to enter, making politicians from these parties reluctant to make a bid for change. As these parties often control governments, most countries try to avoid accepting a significant number of refugees, except for Sweden (and Norway, which isn't a EU member though).

    Another problem is that many people only look at the total number of refugees in a country, not at the proportion of refugees to the total population. This allows a large country as Germany to pose as if it bore the same pressure as Sweden (total nonsense).

    It is important to understand that the view that the refugees are mostly economic migrants is absolutely wrong (the Vox articles really do not make this clear enough). For the most part, these people do leave home for basic humanitarian reasons, as is evidenced by the fact that the largest refugees group is formed by Syrians.

    The good news is that the spending has been tripled to €9 million per month, which is close to the funding of Mare Nostrum, and that search and rescue missions have been reinstated. The bad news is that it's to my knowledge not explicitly said that the mandate is similar to the one of Mare Nostrum and that the current plans seem imprecise.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-mediterranean

    European leaders have pledged to triple funding of EU maritime operations in the Mediterranean in an attempt to get to grips with the epidemic of migrant drownings at sea, while 15 of 28 EU countries also promised more naval assets for the mission.

    At an emergency summit in Brussels staged under intense pressure to respond more humanely to the soaring death toll, Britain was the first to pledge ships and helicopters.
    And some more specific political context:

    The leaders of the four biggest EU countries – Germany, France, Britain and Italy – met before the summit to consider their options.

    Cameron has performed a U-turn in recent days, agreeing to the need for more extensive search-and-rescue operations after the government strongly criticised Italian rescue efforts last year and refused to take part in the Triton mission on the grounds that saving lives just encouraged a greater flow of migrants and emboldened the people-smugglers.

    UK government officials now admit that Triton has not worked. Germany, France and the Netherlands were similarly critical of the Italian operations last year which were called off and replaced by the much less ambitious and cheaper Triton mission. Thursday night’s decisions put Triton on a similar footing to the previous Italian Mare Nostrum operation.

    The argument that Mare Nostrum served as a “pull factor” has not been vindicated. According to Frontex, in the first three months after Triton replaced Mare Nostrum, the flow of migrants increased 160%.

  2. #2
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    The entire emergency summit, the impassioned speeches, the crocodile tears, the increased commitments and the appeals to human duty and all, is a disingenuous charade.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/...ing-operation/

    The failure to extend Triton’s operational area will fatally undermine today’s commitment from several European nations to provide resources, ships and aircraft to search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, said Amnesty International.

    “What we witnessed today in Brussels was a face-saving not a life-saving operation. All the words and resources being thrown at this problem suggest that EU leaders are being serious about saving lives at sea. But the reality is they are still only meeting the problem halfway,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia

    “Unless they go the extra mile, migrants and refugees will continue to drown and Europe will have again failed shamefully – to deal with this tragedy on its doorstep. If Triton can’t be changed, then Triton is not the solution, however many resources one gives it.”

    The announcement of increased funding and assets towards existing European Union (EU) border control operations, including Operation Triton, came at the end of an emergency summit in Brussels on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.
    Triton will remain a Frontex border patrol mission, not a search-and-rescue mission like Mare Nostrum. The the area of operation has not been widened, while more drownings happen outside the current operating zone. Fears about pull factors still dominate the agenda.

    It's incredible, the results are even more cynical than I feared. This will do almost nothing to reduce deaths on the Mediterranean.

  3. #3
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    After their transparently self-interested decision obliquely worded as if it was a humanitarian breakthrough, EU leaders have agreed to allow only a tiny number of refugees to settle.

    https://www.thetrentonline.com/eu-sa...ill-sent-back/

    Only 5,000 migrants may be allowed to resettle in Europe as refugees under the emergency summit crisis package, the rest are to be speedily repatriated. The package is to be agreed by EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday .

    A confidential draft summit statement reported by the Guardian indicates that the vast majority of those who survive the journey and make it to Italy – about 150,000 did so last year – will be sent back as irregular migrants under a new rapid-return programme co-ordinated by the EU’s border agency, Frontex. More than 36,000 boat survivors have reached Italy, Malta and Greece so far this year.

    In particular in terms of sharing responsibility across the EU the draft statement suggests only “setting up a first “voluntary” pilot project on resettlement, offering at least 5,000 places to persons qualifying for protection”, it says.
    It is a grim finial for the cynical play the negotiations were, a true Judas kiss. A draft result of 5,000 refugees who may remain is absolutely laughable. A union of more than 500 million inhabitants can easily house many more. This 'result' is in addition to the limited patrol area of Operation Triton, which doesn't even begin to solve the problem of thousands of people drowning.



    A bishop of the Church of England has criticised the mainstream political discourse that only seeks to whitewash marine tombs. He connected the tragedy of this moment to our countries' responsibility for the destabilising wars since 9/11.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...hop-manchester

    One of the country’s most senior bishops has said that Britain has a moral imperative to accept refugees from conflicts in which it has participated.

    After a week in which the death toll of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean into Europe grew to 1,700 so far this year, the bishop of Manchester, David Walker, said there was a duty to treat the survivors with compassion.

    In a piece for the Observer published online, he writes: “They are pushed, not pulled, towards the EU, forced out of their homelands by war, terrorism and the persecution of minorities. A political rhetoric that characterises them as wilful criminals rather than helpless victims is as unworthy as it is untrue.”

    The UK’s pivotal role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq prompted a sectarian war that the UN said had forced two million Iraqis to flee the country, an involvement that ran alongside the 13-year Afghanistan war and was followed by the 2011 attacks on Libya, both of which precipitated significant regional instability and migration.
    His comment is accessible here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ith-compassion

    The asylum seekers washing up, sometimes all too literally, on Europe’s shores, are not driven to put their lives, and their families’ lives, on the line because they’ve heard that the UK has a generous benefits system. They take appalling risks.

    They trust themselves and whatever little money they can scrape together to people smugglers and to overcrowded boats, because life at home has become desperate. They are pushed, not pulled, towards the EU, forced out of their homelands by war, terrorism and the persecution of minorities.

    A political rhetoric that characterises them as wilful criminals rather than helpless victims is as unworthy as it is untrue. Welcome though it was that European leaders sat down to talk about the situation, their conclusions seem more directed at making the symptoms less visible than at tackling the disease.
    Last edited by Villerar; April 26th, 2015 at 07:40 AM.

  4. #4
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Curious enough, Vox takes a rather optimistic view on the agreement that resulted from the summit.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/27/8500171...aster-response

    After as many as 800 migrants drowned last week when their ship capsized off the coast of Libya, Europe has been under a tremendous amount of public pressure to address a humanitarian crisis that looks like it will only get worse. The problem for the EU — just like the problem that faced the US last year as it dealt with its own migrant crisis from the Northern Triangle of Central America — is that "responding" to the deaths of people trying to get to your country could mean one or more of several totally different things.

    It could mean trying to keep them from wanting to come to Europe to begin with — either by improving conditions in their home countries, or treating migrants who arrive poorly to discourage others from trying. It could mean accepting that people will want to come, and making it easier to do so safely and legally. Or it could mean accepting that, at least in the short run, a lot of people are going to try to make a very dangerous journey, and responding by trying to make sure that at least they don't all die.

    Europe's response before last week (and the US' last year) was entirely in the first categoty. But after a one-day summit on Thursday, it looks like Europe has finally recognized that if it's going to keep thousands of people from dying in the Mediterranean this year, it's going to need to rescue them. The European Council is tripling the size of its border operation (which isn't designed to rescue boats but does respond to distress calls), essentially bringing it back up to the scale of the Mare Nostrum operation the Italian government ended last year. Mare Nostrum was credited with saving 100,000 lives; it couldn't get to every boat, but its track record was much better than the European response to this point has been.
    I think that not sharing this optimistic opinion would at least pull the foundations from under items 1, 2 and 4 on the list.

  5. #5
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    The European Union wants to play pirate in the Mediterranean:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-migrant-boats

    The European Union has drawn up plans for military attacks in Libya to try to curb the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean by targeting the trafficking networks. It is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN mandate for armed action in Libya’s territorial waters.

    Britain is drafting the UN security council resolution that would authorise the mission, said senior officials in Brussels. It would come under Italian command, have the participation of around 10 EU countries, including Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, and could also drag in Nato although there are no plans for initial alliance involvement.

    On Monday, Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief foreign and security policy coordinator, is to brief the UN security council in New York on the plans for a “chapter seven” resolution authorising the use of force. The British draft is believed to call for the “use of all means to destroy the business model of the traffickers”.

    This would entail having EU vessels in Libyan territorial waters, including the Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark – currently in Malta – and deploying helicopter gunships to “neutralise” identified traffickers’ ships used to send tens of thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East on the short but highly risky voyage from the Libyan coast to the shores of southern Italy.
    It's a terribly bad idea. It further undermines the rump authority of the Libyan government(s), it could escalate into open hostilities with rebel groups and it is unlikely that this would solve the problem of human trafficking by boat, probably not even in Libya.

  6. #6
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    The EU scheme for retransfering refugees won't automatically apply to Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32705615

    The European Commission says the UK, Ireland and Denmark are not obliged to join any EU quota scheme for housing migrants, despite the migration crisis.

    EU law says the UK and Ireland can "opt in" to such a scheme, within three months of it being proposed. But the EU cannot compel them to join in.

    Denmark negotiated a blanket "opt-out" from the relevant treaty clause.

    The Commission is planning quotas to help distribute migrants EU-wide, amid a surge in Mediterranean migrants.

    On Wednesday the Commission will announce a "European Agenda on Migration" - policy guidelines to beef up the EU's laws for handling migrants.
    The populistic Tory government is strongly opposed to the scheme and increasing the influx of refugees. But the number of asylum requests in the UK is pathetically low among western EU member states compared to the population. Net immigration via the regular migratory channels is larger than in most other EU countries, though that has in the past mostly been due to the Commonwealth.



    The Guardian advocates a more active role by the Brits.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...urope-refugees

    The flow of migrants from the severely disturbed countries south of the European Union has increased, is increasing, and will, for the foreseeable future, continue to increase. The Syrian civil war grinds on, Libya’s internal conflicts are unresolved, and Eritrea is a repressive state which imposes a form of “national service” on its youth amounting to forced labour.

    These are just the worst instances of the kind of chronic dysfunction that leads people to take the risky decision to leave their homes. In addition to those fleeing extreme situations, there are many in more stable countries, for example Nigeria or, further afield, Bangladesh, who seek the better prospects they believe Europe affords.

    With the erosion of state authority in parts of the Middle East and north Africa and the growth of a region-wide people smuggling industry, the numbers of both kinds of migrants has shot up, putting huge pressure on Europe’s inadequate and incoherent system for dealing with them. The physical controls have buckled, with a consequent dreadful loss of life at sea (now somewhat ameliorated), while the legal framework that is supposed to govern migration into the European Union is at breaking point. Above all, the documentation of migrants has been neglected by countries of first arrival because it compels them to take back migrants who move elsewhere. The result is that the burden is being shared, but in a patchy and unplanned way, and with much loss of control: less than half of unsuccessful asylum seekers are being sent back.
    Last edited by Villerar; May 13th, 2015 at 12:50 AM.

  7. #7
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    It's a terribly bad idea. It further undermines the rump authority of the Libyan government(s), it could escalate into open hostilities with rebel groups and it is unlikely that this would solve the problem of human trafficking by boat, probably not even in Libya.
    The Guardian correspondent's view of the hitherto vaguely proposed plan is also negative. They note how blurred the border is between fishing trawler and trafficking ship.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ifaceted-trade

    In the small Libyan port of Zuwara, one of the main points of departure for migrants seeking to reach Italy, dozens if not hundreds of fishing boats line the quay. It’s an innocuous sight: blue wooden skiffs knocking against each other in the breeze. But if Europe wants to use military force to smash Libya’s smuggling trade, these are the boats they will have to destroy.

    On Monday, the EU seeks to persuade the UN security council to back military operations against smuggling fleets in Zuwara and other coastal towns up and down Libya’s western seaboard. But even with the UN’s go-ahead, such a strategy may not be straightforward – and the blue boats bobbing in the harbour in Zuwara illustrate why.

    Contrary to mainstream portrayals, Libya’s smugglers are not one cohesive organisation with a clear chain of command, or identifiable assets. They do not have an easily targeted fleet at their disposal, anchored in areas separate from civilian life.

    Instead, they usually source their boats on a trip-by-trip basis from local fishermen. At current prices, they pay more than 140,000 dinars (Ł70,000) for a fishing boat that might carry 300 migrants. Even after money has changed hands, the transition will be imperceptible to all but the few aware of the transaction. Today’s smuggling vessel was yesterday’s fishing trawler.


    Also alarming is that proposals also allow the deployment of forces on the ground.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-ground-forces

    European plans for a military campaign to smash the migrant smuggling networks operating out of Libya include options for ground forces on Libyan territory.

    The 19-page strategy paper for the mission, obtained by the Guardian, focuses on an air and naval campaign in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters, subject to United Nations blessing. But it adds that ground operations in Libya may also be needed to destroy the smugglers’ vessels and assets, such as fuel dumps.

    “A presence ashore might be envisaged if agreement was reached with relevant authorities,” says the paper which is expected to be endorsed by European Union foreign ministers on Monday before the mission is ordered by heads of government at an EU summit in June.
    Senior diplomats and officials in Brussels, speaking privately about the military planning, have consistently stressed that there would be no prospect of “boots on the ground” in Libya. But it is clear from the detailed planning document that they might be needed and are not being ruled out.
    This could lead to a similar escalation as in the last Libyan intervention. Both Libyan 'governments' are vehemently opposed to the European plans to intervene.

  8. #8
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    This older piece in the Guardian describes the workings of the smugglers' operations.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...l-soon-move-on

    Just as the evening light began to dim at the fishing port in Zuwara, a blue wooden boat with a slim white stripe began to slide silently from the quay. Seventeen or 18 metres long, there was little to distinguish it from the dozens of other boats moored nearby. It looked like a fishing boat, and it moved like one, too.

    But watching from the quay, a passing diesel smuggler picked it out easily. It was an odd time of day to go fishing, he says. The day before, that boat might have carried hundreds of fish back to port. This night, it would bear hundreds of refugees towards Italy. A day after 800 people drowned in nearby waters, yet another trip was following in its wake.

    “That’ll carry 200,” says the smuggler. “Minimum.”

    It was a scene whose subtlety encapsulates the problem of dealing with the Mediterranean migration crisis by targeting individual smugglers and their boats. Shortly before this boat left its moorings on Monday, the EU said it would launch military operations against smugglers who are based in places like Zuwara, the starting point for smuggling in Libya. Late on Thursday night, the head of the European commission, Donald Tusk, confirmed that plan, promising to “capture and destroy vessels used by the smugglers before they can be used”.

    But interviews with one former and two current smugglers show therein lies a problem. Smuggling boats start life as fishing trawlers. The moment of transition from the latter to the former is informal and almost imperceptible to outsiders.

    As the boat in Zuwara shows, smugglers do not maintain a separate, independent harbour of clearly marked vessels, ready to be targeted by EU air strikes. They buy them off fishermen at a few days’ notice. To destroy their potential pool of boats, the EU would need to raze whole fishing ports.

    “One of the reasons why [Libyan] fish is expensive is the lack of fishing boats going out to sea to fish,” a people smuggler who wanted to be known as Hajj explains later. “They’re all being used by smugglers.”

  9. #9
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Orbán has railed against any redistribution quota.

    http://www.dw.de/hungarian-prime-min...lty/a-18462379

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban lashed out on Tuesday against EU proposals for migrant quotas, and defended his country's right to debate the reintroduction of the death penalty.

    Speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Orban was blunt about a proposed quota plan for migrants in the EU.

    "The proposal on the table from the European Commission…is absurd, bordering on insanity," Orban told lawmakers. "Quotas are only going to bring more people to Europe. It is an incentive for people traffickers and will simply tell people: yes, try to cross the Mediterranean at all costs."

    The EU announced plans last week to distribute asylum seekers and migrants more fairly among its member states and take in 20,000 more refugees following the deaths of thousands of people trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean.
    It's important to understand that Orbán is an absolute idiot, the kind of authoritarian strongman that has appeared in some East Bloc countries. He is a worse threat than Berlusconi was.

  10. #10
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Somebody suspected in connection to the Bardo attack (Tunisia) had arrived in Italy in February by boat.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32824848

    On 19 May Italy arrested Abdelmajid Touil from Morocco, on suspicion of involvement in an attack on foreign tourists in Tunis that left 22 people dead.

    At least two gunmen opened fire at the Bardo Museum in Tunis on 18 March.

    Italy is now trying to work out what role the suspect played in the attack, and where he was on the day of the shootings.

    Records show that Mr Touil, 22, entered Italy on a migrant boat on 16 February - a month before the Tunis murders. Concerning his arrival, Italy says it had no reason to treat him as a terrorist suspect.

    "Neither the Tunisian nor Italian police considered him dangerous or at risk of terrorism," Italy's Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, told parliament on Thursday.

  11. #11
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    I am delighted to link to Juncker's view on Orbán.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...s-at-eu-summit

    European Union officials are not necessarily known for their sharp one-liners, but European commission head Jean-Claude Juncker had a scathing welcome for Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban at a summit in Riga on Friday, greeting him with “Hello, dictator”.

    The barb, made in front of the press at the Latvian summit, came amid growing unease over the policies of Orban’s rightwing government, which has carried out constitutional changes and brought more authoritarian rule, critics say.

    Orban’s response was not audible.

    Delegations at the summit took several hours to hammer out a 10-page statement full of bland postulations of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme, but ahead of the meeting Juncker was clearly in a more light-hearted mood. He also ribbed Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras for not wearing a tie.

    Orban was labelled a “neofascist dictator” by US senator John McCain late last year, and has alarmed EU leaders by suggesting his country could reintroduce the death penalty and place harsh restrictions on immigration.

  12. #12
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Germany and France are unhappy about the distribution key and make unproductive demands from border states.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32957131

    France and Germany say an EU Commission plan to redistribute 40,000 asylum seekers across the EU needs revision.

    A joint statement from their interior ministers said the EU "distribution key" for giving member states a quota of migrants ought to "take better account of efforts already made".

    They also called for Italy and other frontline states in the migration crisis to step up border surveillance.
    It had been a while since I looked at the numbers of asylum requesters, but I am positive that Germany and France's figures for the proportions were overall quite unremarkable (which is true sevenfold for the British figures, press hysteria notwithstanding).

  13. #13
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Here is an interesting blog about migration and seeking refuge. The focus is mostly on European topics, but there are also some global numbers and figures included. It is too monolithic on politics if you ask me (and probably gets the relation between politics and media backwards), but if you can get beyond that, it gives excellent information about what does and doesn't happen, what does and doesn't work.

    http://heindehaas.blogspot.nl/

  14. #14
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Amnesty International has lambasted world leaders for their negligent, ineffective response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...t-africa-syria

    Millions of refugees have been condemned to a life of misery in the worst displacement crisis since the second world war, a leading human rights organisation has said in a scathing report (pdf) that blames world leaders’ neglect for the deaths of thousands of civilians fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa.

    “We are witnessing the worst refugee crisis of our era, with millions of women, men and children struggling to survive amidst brutal wars, networks of people traffickers and governments who pursue selfish political interests instead of showing basic human compassion,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, in a statement.
    It must be observed that the countries (UK and US) whose governments were most culpable in causing the largest demographic of refugees are shielded from the largest influx.

  15. #15
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    About two thousand refugees tried to reach the end of the Channel tunnel.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...unnel-gridlock

    About 2,000 migrants attempted to storm the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, causing severe delays to cross-Channel rail services and gridlock on UK roads, it has been revealed.

    The migrants’ attempts to enter the UK forced the tunnel operator to close the terminal early on Tuesday morning, disrupting rail services for up to an hour and having a knock-on effect on road tailbacks in Kent, Eurotunnel said.

    On Tuesday evening, the tunnel operator revealed the scale of the incident, around 12 hours after Kent police reintroduced emergency measures to ease tailbacks on the county’s roads. HGVs heading for the continent were queueing on the M20, with junctions eight to 13 closed to non-freight traffic as part of Operation Stack.
    Theresa May, home secretary and multi-purpose bigot, will up anti-immigration efforts and spend some seven million quid on extra fences.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...-calais-crisis

    Home secretary Theresa May will chair an emergency Cobra ministerial meeting on Wednesday morning on the growing Calais migrant crisis, David Cameron has announced.
    Cameron said the government had found an extra Ł7m to improve the quality of fencing amid criticism from Eurotunnel that the government was not doing enough to address the problem. The operator has said the nightly breaches appeared to be too much for the government to handle.
    Last edited by Villerar; August 8th, 2015 at 03:05 PM.

  16. #16
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    In addition to the recent disaster near the Libyan coast, Greece has seen an even greater influx, becoming the main route for entry into Europe.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33818193

    The refugee crisis on the Greek islands of Kos, Chios and Lesbos is "total chaos", the UN refugee agency UNHCR says, with inadequate accommodation, water and sanitation.

    Around 50,000 people arrived in Greece in July alone, the organisation says.

    Greece's leader said the country was unable to cope, and called for EU help.

    Separately, Italian police arrested five suspected traffickers over the deaths of about 200 people after a migrant boat sank on Wednesday.

    They included two Libyans, two Algerians and a Tunisian, held on suspicion of multiple murder and people trafficking.

    Survivors have said that traffickers used knives to slash the heads of African migrants and belts to thrash Arabs to keep them in the hull.
    The English bulldog attitude on this is sordid and unrealistic.

  17. #17
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    It will not make big splashes across the pond, but the majority of the British public and many British politicians are absolutely frenetic about a few thousand refugees in an illegal camp in Calais, indubitably roused by the frenzied tabloids. That's why the Tory elite have said some very cruel things about refugees.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/8/12/9144079...ation-identity

    "The Jungle," a ramshackle camp that serves as a temporary home to a few thousand people in the coastal French town of Calais, is making the once-great kingdom of Great Britain collectively lose its &&&&.

    If you were to idly browse British coverage of the situation, you could be forgiven for thinking that the camp must be home to an army of fearsome mercenaries bent upon stealing the crown jewels from the Tower of London, or perhaps an unstoppable strain of killer bees desperate to sink their stingers into tender British flesh.

    But it isn't. The camp's residents are actually a group of desperate refugees and unauthorized migrants who are trying to cross the English Channel to find safety and a better life in Britain. There are a few thousand of them in total, and only a fraction of those have made it to the UK. Many appear to be refugees from Syria and Eritrea who have legitimate claims to asylum protection under international and British law.
    For a clearheaded Brit, check The Guardian with Seumas Milne.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis.../aug/12/seumas

    Never let it be said that Britain’s leaders miss an opportunity to inflame fear and loathing towards migrants and refugees. First David Cameron warned of the threat posed by “a swarm of people” who were “coming across the Mediterranean … wanting to come to Britain”. Then his foreign secretary Philip Hammond upped the ante.

    The chaos at the Channel tunnel in Calais, he declared, was caused by “marauding” migrants who posed an existential threat. Cheer-led by the conservative press, he warned that Europe would not be able to “protect itself and preserve its standard of living” if it had to “absorb millions of migrants from Africa”.

    With nightly television coverage of refugees from the world’s worst conflicts risking their lives to break into lorries and trains heading for Britain, this was rhetoric designed to stoke visceral fears of the wretched of the Earth emerging from its depths.

    Barely a hint of humanity towards those who have died in Calais this summer has escaped ministers’ lips. But in reality the French port is a sideshow, home to a few thousand migrants unable to pay traffickers for more promising routes around Britain’s border controls.

    Europe’s real refugee crisis is in the Mediterranean. More than 180,000 have reached Italy and Greece by sea alone this year, and more than 2,000 have died making the crossing, mostly from war-ravaged Libya. The impact on Greece, already wracked with crisis, is at tipping point.

  18. #18
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    The past week has been eventful, with a sunken refugee ship near Libya leading to hundreds of deaths and an abandoned truck in Austria that was used by human traffickers and contained scores of dead bodies.

    More on that later, but Germany has decided not to insist on Dublin regulations, which means that refugees don't have to apply in their country of entry any more for asylum applications in Germany.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/8/28/9220395...migrant-crisis

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel did something really good this week: Her country will now allow Syrian refugees, who normally would be deported back to wherever they first entered the European Union, to stay and apply for asylum. Thousands of Syrians who would have otherwise faced uncertainty in Europe can now begin the process of rebuilding their lives in Germany.

    Germany, with the stroke of a pen, has just given an awful lot of Syrian families the chance to start a new life. But this is even more important than that: In addition to being a blessing for these Syrians, it is also a gift to Europe. Migration has become a crisis so great for Europe that, earlier this month, Merkel called it an even bigger challenge for the EU than the Greek debt crisis. She is now leading by example, showing Europe what it must do to overcome that crisis.

  19. #19
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    To back the above up:

    After the discovery of 71 dead people in a truck, Austria, Germany and Hungary increase border controls (these do not violate Schengen).

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/w...ckup/71446530/

    BERLIN — Austria, Germany and Hungary tightened border checks on Monday in new operations aimed at cracking down on human traffickers after 71 people died in a food truck near Vienna last week.

    The development comes as European authorities scrambled to find solutions to an unprecedented migration crisis that is claiming lives on land and sea.

    Austria increased inspections of trucks at its border with Hungary, creating an 18.5-mile traffic jam on the main Budapest-Vienna highway, traffic firm Utinform said.

    Austria and Hungary are both part of the European Union's Schengen zone of passport-free travel. Schengen-zone vehicles are rarely inspected at the border.

    Germany also introduced traffic checks on its highways near the border with Austria. And in Budapest, Hungarian authorities stepped up inspections of trains bound for other destinations in central Europe.
    Several men have been arrested in Hungary in connection to the death truck.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-truck-tragedy

    Hungarian police have arrested the driver of a lorry found on an Austrian motorway with the decomposing bodies of 71 people, including a baby girl, inside.

    Three Bulgarians and an Afghan man have been detained, police said. Detectives have also questioned almost 20 people and searched homes, they added. Earlier Austrian police said the lorry owner was a Bulgarian citizen of Lebanese origin.
    The death toll of the ship in Libyan waters is at least 117, but it may continue to rise. Approximately 200 people have been saved, but 500 people were on board.

    http://www.etalia.net/articles/abbaf...e-36767448d124

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan authorities say they have recovered 12 more bodies, raising the death toll from the latest disaster for migrants trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean to 117.

    The rescue team says in a statement Saturday that they have rescued 198 people and that the search is ongoing for missing passengers from two boats that capsized Thursday off the western coastal city of Zuwara with about 500 migrants onboard.

    A security official says one more Libyan accused of organizing the dangerous crossing was arrested on Friday, bringing the total to three. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief reporters.

  20. #20
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Hungarian authorities made a shifty move by first giving (mostly Syrian) refugees the impression they would go to Vienna and then trying to force them off the train near a refugee camp.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34148891

    A tense stand-off between police and migrants on a train in Hungary is continuing into a second day.

    On Thursday, police let the migrants board the train in Budapest but then tried to force them off at a refugee camp to the west of the capital.

    Hungarian MPs face a key vote later on whether to tighten border controls as migrants try to pass through to their preferred destination, Germany.

    Three other European meetings on Friday will discuss the migrant crisis.

    Members of the European Commission are also flying to the Greek island of Kos to examine the difficulties caused by the large numbers of refugees and migrants landing there.

    The UN has meanwhile urged the EU to admit up to 200,000 refugees as part of "a mass relocation programme" that had the "mandatory participation" of all member states.

    A statement from Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, said Europe needed to build "adequate reception capacities", especially in Greece, replacing a "piecemeal" approach with a "common strategy".
    European Council President Donald Tusk said at least 100,000 refugees should be distributed across EU states - a sharp increase on a previous European Commission target of 40,000.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said they would present plans for the redistribution of refugees within the EU.

    The British government, in particular, is coming under growing pressure to take in more migrants.


    The UK may at long last begin to let some refugees in:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34148913

    David Cameron is expected to announce plans later to increase the number of refugees being allowed into the UK.

    The extra refugees are expected to come from UN camps bordering Syria, and not from among people already in Europe.

    No specific figure has been agreed, but Mr Cameron has previously said the UK would continue to take in "thousands".

    The PM, who has faced growing pressure to do more to address the crisis, is likely to make an announcement in Spain after talks with fellow leaders.

    He is meeting his Portuguese and Spanish counterparts for talks that had been intended to focus on his desire for EU reform, but which will be overshadowed by the migrant crisis.

    Calls for the UK to take in more refugees have intensified after the publication of a picture of the body of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up a Turkish beach.

    Mr Cameron said on Thursday that as a father he felt "deeply moved" by the image, but has argued that taking on more people was not the simple answer.
    Yes, that picture made the extreme right tabloids speed to a U-turn.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/3/9252649/...itish-tabloids

    British tabloids, which have been scaremongering about refugees for years, telling Britons to fear and resist any immigration and helping to drive the UK's shameful anti-refugee policies, discovered their compassion for refugees on Wednesday when a small child's body washed up on a Turkish shore.

    The child was a Syrian refugee who, like many hundreds of other refugees, had died during the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. A photo of the young boy went viral, and the same British tabloids that are overtly hostile to living refugees decided that this one was worth caring about, and have plastered their covers with his image.

    Some British outlets are even running the image alongside sanctimonious headlines, decrying the loss of the life that is a direct and foreseeable result of the very anti-refugee policies they spent years clamoring for. The Sun, which is famous for anti-refugee headlines such as "Halt the Asylum Tide Now" and "Draw a Red Line on Immigration or Else" is running the dead child's photo on its Thursday cover with the headline "Mr. Cameron, Summer Is Over ... Now Deal With the Biggest Crisis Facing Europe Since WW2."

    The Daily Mail, just in July, ran an anti-refugee front page with the headline "The Swarm in Our Streets." Today, suddenly, it cares about refugees, and will join the Sun (and, seemingly, much of the British press) in splashing the image of the dead child across its front page with the headline "Tiny victim of a human catastrophe."
    What kind of shallow mind calls for action after seeing a photo of a dead boy's corpse but couldn't figure out there have been many drowned children among the thousands who drowned before him thanks to the subhuman policies that itself demanded?
    Last edited by Villerar; September 4th, 2015 at 01:43 AM.

  21. #21
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Asylum seekers who went in the direction of the Austrian border by foot managed to force the Hungarian government's hand. They will now bus people to the border.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34159780

    Hungary is to send buses to transport migrants to Austria's border after more than 1,000 began walking there earlier on Friday.

    They left Budapest station on foot after a stand-off with police, defying official efforts to take them to reception centres and register them.

    Earlier on Friday another group escaped along railway tracks in Bicske, to the west, from a train stopped by police.

    European Union states are struggling to agree on how to deal with the crisis.

    The surprise announcement by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff late on Friday night followed several days of chaotic scenes.

    Janos Lazar said Hungary would offer buses to those walking along the main motorway to Vienna, as well as to migrants still at Budapest's Keleti railway station.

    The buses would take people to Hegyeshalom, on the border with Austria.

    Hungary had not yet had a response from the Austrian government so he did not know whether they would be allowed in to Austria, he added.


    Meanwhile, Germany, which tries to goad other European states into action by allowing more Syrian refugees in, has concerns about non-Syrians using fake Syrian passports.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34150408

    German customs officers have seized packages containing Syrian passports and police suspect they are being sold illegally to asylum seekers.

    A finance ministry official said both genuine and forged passports were in the packets intercepted in the post.

    Germany is letting Syrians register for asylum regardless of where they entered the EU. As refugees from the Syrian civil war, most have a right to asylum.

    The passports can help fraudulent claimants to get asylum, the EU says.

    The ministry official declined to say how many Syrian passports had been found in the customs checks. The German police are now investigating.

  22. #22
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Vox on why American elites' scorched earth humanitarianism is misguided and why alternatives like increasing the number of migrants/refugees are better.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/4/9258149/...n-intervention

    "The Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach wearing a bright red t-shirt and shorts on Wednesday will not be the last," writes Noah Rothman at Commentary. "America and the West own a portion of the torment that characterized his short time on Earth. In our comfort, we allowed this great human catastrophe to metastasize."

    The sentiment here is admirable, but the conclusion is dead wrong. What Rothman means is that the United States should have gone to war years ago to intervene more forcefully in the Syrian civil war — a costly undertaking that likely would have failed. The US's real shortcoming isn't an undue hesitancy to help Syrians by dropping bombs. It's our refusal to let Syrians help themselves by allowing more refugees to move to the United States — a solution that would certainly work, would carry little in the way of short-term financial costs, and that would likely provide a powerful boost to the US economy and drastically increase the living standards of Syrians who were able to relocate.

  23. #23
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    A new EU scheme will redistribute 120,000 refugees across the union.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34193568

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is due to announce plans to tackle Europe's worst migrant crisis since World War Two.

    Under the proposals, 120,000 asylum seekers will be distributed among EU member countries, with binding quotas.

    This comes after thousands of mainly Syrian migrants began trekking northwards through Europe this weekend.

    Hungary has been warned to expect an additional 40,000 migrants by the end of next week.

  24. #24
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Countries like Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary still oppose the EC plan to redistribute refugees. Meanwhile, the mainstream line is sill strongly focused on the old Fortress Europe border security notion.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...gration-crisis

    Jean-Claude Juncker knows how to talk the talk. The keynote of his state of the union address in Strasbourg on Tuesday was compassion: “We can build walls and we can build fences,” the president of the European commission appealed, “but imagine if it were you, your child in your arms, the world you knew torn apart around you, there is no price you would not pay, there is no wall you would not climb.”

    But Juncker’s rhetoric stands in stark contrast to the initiatives lately undertaken by the European commission (EC). On the podium officials may bare their bleeding hearts, yet in the background they silently continue to build up a security apparatus that will provide oversight and total control over population influxes towards and from the external borders of the union. Commentators have taken to describing the lack of a coordinated mechanism for processing refugees as “a failure” on behalf the EC and the EU member states. This is missing the point. The refugee crisis is not a failure, but entirely consistent with the commission’s strategic priorities on immigration and border control policies.

    For years the policy of the commission has been to invest in the creation of a restrictive institutional infrastructure to discourage population influxes at the external frontiers of the European Union. The human tragedy in the Mediterranean and the Aegean doesn’t appear to have forced the commission to alter its priorities.

    Last week, the EU commissioner for immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos and the vice-president of the commission Frans Timmermans visited Greece to monitor the situation. Their policy priority was to speed up the establishment of a multi-purpose centre for screening and identifying migrants’ and refugees’ nationalities. This is tightly connected with the commission’s announced purpose since last April to establish speedy return procedures managed by Frontex. Instead of questioning the priorities of the commission, local media repeated the mantra that €475m had been made available to help Greece deal with immigration. But what exactly is the money for?

    The British whistleblower Statewatch gave us an answer when it uploaded the Internal Security Fund’s spending programme for Greece, greenlighted by the commission last July. The document is nothing short of an arms race wishlist, including the purchase of coastal patrol vessels, drones, patrolling vehicles carrying infrared cameras, large scale equipment appropriate for joining Frontex’s operation as well as hi-tech surveillance, data and biometric equipment to enhance the super-surveillance systems the commission is gradually establishing at Europe’s borders. The procurement of security goodies amounts to €187m: as much as two-fifths of the money Avramopoulos has promised. This year’s other main beneficiaries of the fund, amounting to a total of €3.7bn until 2020, are Italy, Spain, Malta and France.


    Denmark's conservative government has increased border controls with Germany to extreme extents. Without any doubt this is a hugely symbolic move, but it's a very dubious proposition whether this will have much effect on people seeking refuge in Sweden and the humanitarianism of the decision is shoddy and duplicitous.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...e-road-germany

    Danish police have closed a motorway and rail links with Germany in an effort to prevent refugees heading north to Sweden, as the crisis facing Europe spreads northwards.

    The E45 motorway, a vital passage of traffic for people and goods between Sweden and Germany, was closed on Wednesday when about 300 refugees, including children, began walking on it.

    Police tried to persuade them to leave but appeared reluctant to use force, witnesses in Denmark said. “We are trying to talk to them and tell them that it is a really bad idea to walk on the motorway,” a police spokeswoman said.

    Police also asked the state-owned railway operator to stop all trains between Germany and Denmark until further notice. Services were expected to resume at some point on Thursday.

    Denmark is part of the EU’s Schengen zone, where borders are meant to be open to allow free movement. When asked whether blocking the road and rail links meant breaking with the Schengen system, a police spokesman said he did not think so as he expected traffic to start moving again soon, although he could not say when.

    At Rødby, where train ferries arrive in Denmark from Germany, two trains carrying about 240 people were stopped by police. Refugees on board were refusing to leave the train, police said. About 100 foreign passengers left a train that was still on a ferry and were transferred to a school for registration.


    Orbán has stated that next week all illegal entrants into Hungary will be arrested. Of course this proposal is doomed to failure, but Fidesz is desperate about using the inflow (and outflow) of asylum seekers as a vote magnet after losing their two-thirds majority in 2014. (For some reason they decided that competing against the racist Jobbik party was the cleverer alternative than vying with the main opposition parties for more control over the centre ground.) Hopefully the inevitable failure will do tremendous harm to his undemocratic government so we will finally have seen the last of Fidesz's despotic antics in 2018.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34224999

    Hungary's PM has warned that people who cross the country's border illegally will be arrested from next week.

    Viktor Orban said migrants entering Hungary in their thousands in the past weeks had "rebelled" against his police force, and order had to be restored.

    Aid workers have been telling of "abysmal" conditions for refugees at a camp on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

    Video footage has emerged of people being thrown bags of food at the camp in the town of Roszke.

    Hungary has struggled to cope with some 150,000 migrants that have crossed its borders so far this year, en route from Greece to countries in northern and western Europe.

  25. #25
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Thursday, Mar 4 2010
    Location
    To your left
    Posts
    3,908

    Re: Mediterranean drownings, Mare Nostrum and Triton

    Germany has imposed border controls alongside the Austrian border.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34239674

    Germany has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of migrants, the interior minister has said.

    Thomas de Maiziere said refugees could "not choose" their host countries and called on other EU states to do more.

    Trains between Germany and Austria were suspended for 12 hours.

    Germany's vice-chancellor has said the country is "at the limit of its capabilities" as more than 13,000 migrants arrived in Munich on Saturday.

    Germany expects 800,000 migrants to arrive this year.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •