migrants crisis

Approx. 7,500 migrants prevented from illegally entering Serbia in past 8 months

In the past several months, the authorities have prevented the illegal entry of approximately 7,500 migrants on Serbian soil. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday.

Germany expects long-term migration growth after revising estimates

Net migration to Germany is expected to be 200,000 annually in the coming years, according to a news report to be published Sunday.

Aid agency: 13 dead among dozens trapped in Libya container

The bodies of 13 migrants were found along with dozens of survivors trapped inside a transport container in Libya's western town of Khoms, an aid agency said Thursday.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Red Cross: Bodies of 74 migrants wash ashore in Libya

The discovery of the bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore on the Libyan coast highlight the continued dangers facing people trying to get across the Mediterranean to Europe, warned aid agencies Tuesday.

Denmark registers sharp drop in asylum bids in 2016

Denmark saw asylum bids in 2016 drop by two-thirds compared to the previous year, the Scandinavian country's statistics agency said Monday.

Italian cops bust ring giving fake EU papers to 'enormous number'

Police said Monday they had busted a criminal ring that sold fake work papers to thousands of immigrants, allowing them to obtain Italian residency permits and access to the rest of the European Union.

Eleven injured as migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Around 350 migrants managed to scale the 6-metre-high double border fence around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco early Monday.

Report: Illegal immigrant numbers in Germany fell sharply in 2016

The number of cases of illegal entry to Germany fell sharply in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to the country's federal police.

Hundreds of migrants stampede Moroccan border fence into Spanish city

Hundreds of migrants stampeded a six-metre border fence in Morocco on Friday and entered the independent Spanish city of Ceuta, Moroccan authorities said.

EU countries struggle to return migrants to other countries

Countries in the European Union struggled with returning migrants to third countries with less than 60 per cent of return decisions implemented in 2016, the EU border protection agency Frontex said in a report Wednesday.

Turkey hosting more than 3.5 million refugees, government says

Turkey is hosting more than 3.5 million refugees and migrants, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Wednesday, according to state news agency Anadolu.

Croatian, Austrian foreign ministers talk migrants, bilateral relations

A negligible number of migrants is arriving in Europe along the Balkan route which was closed a year ago, but a big problem is the Mediterranean, where the number of migrants has markedly increased, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Vienna on Tuesday after talks with his Croatian counterpart Davor Ivo Stier.

Merkel hopes investment in Tunisians' future will curb migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday proposed funding and education incentives for Tunisians who voluntarily return to their home country as part of her bid to reduce migration to Germany from North African countries.

Amnesty: EU-Turkey refugee deal a disaster, must not be repeated

Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the "disastrous" EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.

Canadian PM Trudeau won't "lecture" Trump on refugees

Canada admitted 40,000 Syrian refugees last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out during a meeting with US President Donald Trump, who is seeking to block people fleeing the war in Syria from entering the United States.

Italian mayor blocks road to halt migrants

An Italian mayor has dumped a pile of earth on a road leading to a residential building to prevent migrants and refugees coming into his community, Ansa news agency reported on Monday.

Croatian Interior minister says Balkan migration route doesn't exist

The so-called Balkan route does not exist and the number of migrants arriving along it, is negligible, Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said in Zupa Dubrovacka on Monday.

Croatia can't meet relocation quota since refugees doesn't want to come

Croatia's Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic has said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that Croatia is committed to fulfilling its obligation in connection with the migrant relocation quota, but the problem is that migrants do not see Croatia as their desirable destination.

Merkel wants swifter deportations of rejected Tunisian asylum seekers

Tunisian asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected must be deported more quickly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in her weekly video podcast.

Thousands protest across Germany against deportations to Afghanistan

Thousands of demonstrators in several German cities called Saturday for a halt to deportations to Afghanistan, calling it an unsafe country and saying that Germany should not be forcing people to return there.

Italy unveils new asylum, repatriation measures

The Italian government on Friday approved new measures to speed up the processing of asylum claims as well as the repatriation of migrants who cross the Mediterranean in a bid to reach Europe.

Amnesty: Only 1 unaccompanied child refugee resettled in N Ireland

The British government "should be ashamed" that only one unaccompanied child refugee came to Northern Ireland as part of a scheme that has since been scrapped, Amnesty International said Friday.

Speedy return home for rejected asylum seekers core of German plan

The German federal government and the leaders of its 16 states have agreed upon a plan to hasten deportation of rejected asylum applicants, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

Hungary setting up military camps on border with Serbia

Hungary has set up a new military camp near the Kelebia border crossing with Serbia and has announced that it would set up another three camps in Bacsalmas, Madaras and Hercegszanto, with authorities announcing that a second line of fences will be erected, Vojvodina media reported on Thursday.

16 European states agree stronger cooperation to prevent new migrant flow

Sixteen central and southeast European countries, including Croatia, agreed in Vienna on Wednesday to draw up plans in late April for stronger military and civil cooperation so as to secure their borders in case the European Union-Turkey agreement on refugees failed, Reuters reported.

Asylum applications reach 20-year high in Italy in 2016

Last year marked a new record for Italy as asylum applications reached a 20-year high, according to a new report out Thursday by a Milan-based think tank on migration.

Japan's own refugee controversy stops it from criticizing Trump's ban

US President Donald Trump's travel ban was met with stinging international criticism. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been silent, largely because Tokyo has done very little for refugees.

Illegal migrants found in parked truck in west Zagreb

Several illegal migrants were found in a truck parked in Zagreb's western suburb of Jankomir on Tuesday and were taken in by the police for identification.

Stricter controls of Schengen border to continue in five countries

The Council of the European Union on Tuesday adopted a recommendation by the European Commission to prolong internal border controls within the Schengen area currently implemented in five countries.

Sweden projects fewer asylum seekers in 2017

Swedish authorities expect a continued drop in asylum seekers this year, amid tighter border checks introduced by the European Union and individual European states.

Germany: EU's Mediterranean anti-migrant mission helping smugglers

The European Union's anti-migrant smuggling mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, is actually helping people traffickers, the German government has admitted.

Asylum seeker in Germany with seven IDs cons his way to 22,000 euros

A Sudanese man who used fake identities to defraud the German state of nearly 22,000 euros (23,600 dollars) was handed on Monday a suspended prison sentence of one year and nine months.

Pahor: Razor-fence seemed necessary half a year ago, not so any more

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Monday that he believed that there was no longer any need for the razor fence on the border with Croatia.

Merkel tells sister political party: No ceiling on refugee numbers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday ruled out imposing a ceiling for the number of refugees Germany will take should she win September elections, highlighting a key differences in her conservative political bloc regarding asylum seekers.

Aid workers save 1,600 in 'nightmare' scenes in the Mediterranean

There were more dramatic scenes in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday morning as rescue workers saved 300 people in the Strait of Sicily, the Italian coastguard told news agency Ansa.

No major migrations along Adriatic route, Slovenian FM says

Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec has tried to shed light on Slovenian PM Miro Cerar's statement on Friday about the opening of an Adriatic route whereby migrants might reach Croatia and Slovenia which surprised Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic.

Croatian PM says knows nothing about Adriatic migrant route

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Malta on Friday he knew nothing about a new, Adriatic route whereby migrants would enter Slovenia via the Croatian peninsula of Istria, which was mentioned by Slovenian PM Miro Cerar to everyone's surprise.

EU wants stable Libya to stem migrant flow

The European Union vowed on Friday that it will contribute to Libya's stabilisation and help the Libyan government acquire control over its territory and the land and sea borders to fight human trafficking, while Italy committed to financing refugee camps in Libya with the EU's support.

Slovenian PM demands his associate's resignation over Aliens Act vote

Controversies about the passage of disputable amendments to the Aliens Act in Slovenia have continued this week with Prime Minister Miro Cerar demanding the resignation of Milan Brglez from the post of vice

Italy unveils 200-million-euro Africa fund to curb migration

Italy on Wednesday unveiled a so-called Africa fund aimed at preventing potential migrants from leaving their homelands and traffickers from exploiting them.

German government to give more money to freely returning refugees

The German government plans to give more money to refugees who decide voluntarily to return to their homelands, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Fire breaks out in Bulgaria's largest refugee camp

A fire erupted in Bulgaria's largest camp for refugees and migrants, forcing the evacuation of 500 people, private broadcaster bTV reported Tuesday.

Three migrants injured in knife brawl in Serbia

Three migrants were injured in a knife brawl in the northwestern Serbian town of Sid on Monday evening, while around the same time groups of migrants hiding in truck trailers failed in their attempts to cross the Croatian border illegally, the Serbian broadcaster RTV said on Tuesday.

EU leaders to meet in Malta to show unity, discuss migration crisis

EU leaders are meeting in Malta this week to discuss stemming the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean and to show unity in the face of Brexit and a new US president who has sown seeds of discord within the EU.

Austrian cabinet toughens migration policies to avert early elections

Austria's centrist parties on Monday presented tougher integration policies for migrants and measures to fight unemployment, as key parts of a new agenda that is meant to stave off early elections.

NGOs say more than 100 migrants returned from Croatia to Serbia

More than 100 migrants were forcibly returned from Croatia to Serbia in the last six months and the human rights of migrants and refugees are systematically violated, non-governmental organisations from Serbia and Croatia told the TV B92 broadcaster on Friday.

German population at record high after refugee influx

Germany had a population of nearly 83 million at the end of 2016 - the highest in the country's history - due to an influx of refugees, the Federal Statistics Office Destatis said on Friday.

Slovenian parliament endorses new anti-migration law

The Slovenian Parliament on Thursday endorsed the government-sponsored bill of amendments to the Aliens Act with restrictive regulations for potential migrants and asylum seekers, criticised by international nongovernmental organisations and the Council of Europe.

German minister urges processing migrants outside of the EU

Migrants should be processed in camps outside the European Union in case of a "mass influx" of refugees, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on the sidelines of an EU ministerial meeting in Malta Thursday.

EU proposes prolonging border controls, increasing support for Libya

Border controls instated by five EU countries inside the Schengen free-travel zone should be allowed to continue for three more months and the EU should increase its support for migration issues in Libya, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Rights watchdog hits out at Germany over deportations to Afghanistan

EU members including Germany should immediately stop the forced deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

Second group of rejected Afghan asylum seekers returns from Germany

A group of 25 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in their home country on Tuesday, according to border police at Kabul airport.

Serbia to receive additional EUR 4mn from EU for migrants

Serbia will receive an additional EUR 4 million in aid for migrants, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced in Belgrade on Saturday.

Slovenian interior minister says Geneva convention outdated

Slovenia will not let others run its asylum policy and mange its borders, and the Geneva convention on refugees is outdated, Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkes Znidar said in an interview with the Maribor-based newspaper Vecer following international criticism at the government-sponsored amendments to the Aliens Act.

Human Rights Watch: Croatian police forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia

Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

Croatian, Serbian ministers of interior discuss migrants

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Thursday that he had agreed with his Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic for the police chiefs of the two countries to meet and determine procedures to deal with new security challenges.

Germany and Austria push for extension of border controls

Germany and Austria want to extend controls at their border amid ongoing security threats, the countries' interior ministers said in Berlin on Thursday.

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.

Council of Europe human rights commissioner against Slovenian asylum bill

If the Slovenian parliament adopts amendments to the country's law on aliens that radically restrict the right to asylum, that will contravene Slovenia's international obligations and will send a very negative signal to countries along the Balkan migration route, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks has told leading Slovenian media.

Denmark defends little-used law allowing seizure of refugee valuables

A controversial year-old Danish law that allows the seizure of assets from asylum seekers to make them pay for their stay has only been applied four times, according to a news report on Monday.

Trump says more countries could leave EU over migration

US president-elect Donald Trump criticized the European Union and Germany for their immigration policies in a joint interview published Sunday by Britain's The Times and Germany's Bild newspapers.

Migrants shivering in Serbia find no warmth in Hungary, minister says

Hungary will not open its border to refugees and migrants facing bitterly cold conditions in neighbouring Serbia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a German newspaper.

Number of unaccompanied child migrants in Mediterranean doubles

The number of child migrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy without family more than doubled to 25,800 last year, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday in Geneva.

Report: EU has disbursed 748 million euros to aid refugees in Turkey

The European Union has disbursed 748 million euros (797.2 million dollars) of 1.45 billion euros already set aside to support refugees in Turkey, the European Commission stated in a report on Thursday.

Police in Italy and Germany bust migrant smuggling ring

Italian and German police have busted a six-member ring that smuggled asylum seekers into the European Union via the Balkans, state police in the Italian city of Ancona said Wednesday.

Migration to Germany plummets with 280,000 arrivals in 2016

Germany received 280,000 asylum seekers in 2016, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday, marking a sharp drop from the previous year.

Thousands of migrants freeze along Balkan route, aid group says

Thousands of migrants in Greece and in the Balkans are suffering under the current freezing temperatures as local authorities have failed to prepare emergency measures, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Monday.

Report: German asylum applications drop to 320,000 in 2016

Asylum applications dropped in Germany in 2016 to around 320,000, a major decrease in comparison to the year before, while the number of people arrested for human trafficking in the country also decreased, local media reported Sunday.

Merkel remains at loggerheads with allies over refugee limits

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered a critical election year with deep divisions remaining in her conservative political bloc over the nation's refugee crisis and opposition to her plans for a revamp of the country's security structure.

2016 saw sharp drop in Mediterranean migrants, surge in deaths

The number of migrants who arrived on Europe's shores dropped by nearly two thirds last year, but the death toll in the Mediterranean jumped to 5,079, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the EU border agency Frontex said Friday.

Austria seeks to stop asylum applications on EU territory

The European Union should curb immigration by banning refugee applications on its territory and setting up asylum application centres outside the bloc, according to proposals put forward by Austria's defence minister.

Report: Migrant centre workers released after protest in Italy

Protesting asylum seekers at a migrant reception centre near Venice in northern Italy allowed 25 operators to leave the facility early Tuesday after holding them hostage for several hours, local media reported.

Asylum seekers stage protest at Porin centre in Zagreb

A group of asylum seekers staged a protest outside the Porin asylum centre in Zagreb on Monday because the police allegedly had not taken any action following several incidents.

Bavaria wants action against German states failing to deport migrants

Bavaria's hardline Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on Thursday for German states to be penalized for expelling too few rejected asylum seekers.

Three including child die in migrant smuggler crash in Serbia

Three migrants, including a child, were killed and 10 were injured when the vehicle smuggling them through Serbia overturned early Thursday, state television RTS reported.

Migrants voluntarily leaving Germany hit 16-year high

The number of migrants leaving Germany voluntarily hit a 16-year high in 2016, as the number of migrants turned away at the border also increased sharply, according to media reports.

Nearly 20,000 migrants turned away at Germany's borders in 2016

German police are on track to turn away some 20,000 migrants this year at the country's borders, airports and sea ports, local media reported Wednesday.

Mediterranean deaths reach record 5,000 as smugglers adjust tactics

New, riskier tactics by people smugglers have pushed the number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean to a new record of more than 5,000 this year, UN organizations said Friday in Geneva.

Hungary's Orban says Berlin attack was aimed at "Christian values"

Hungary's conservative and fiercely anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the Berlin attack as a strike against "Christian values" on Tuesday.

Police bust gang that smuggled 10,000 migrants to Europe

Investigators have uncovered a Turkish gang that smuggled some 10,000 migrants to Western Europe in the past 10 years, the Austrian Interior Ministry said Monday.

Illegal migrants found in lorry east of Zagreb recovering well, 2 Bulgarians arrested

Most of 67 illegal migrants found in a lorry on the motorway near the eastern Croatian town of Novska on Saturday evening are men aged 15-20, and there are also two children aged 10-12, Health Minister Milan Kujundzic said on Sunday, stressing that all of the 42 migrants who had to be hospitalised were recovering well and would be discharged soon.

Dozens of migrants found hidden in lorry on motorway east of Zagreb

Over 50 migrants were found hidden in a cargo vehicle with foreign licence plates near Novska, 90 kilometres east of Zagreb on Saturday night, when traffic police stopped the lorry driving along the motorway, and a majority of the passengers were in a poor condition as they had inhaled carbon monoxide fumes and suffered from hypothermia.

More than 950,000 people seek asylum in EU this year

In the period from January to September 2016, more than 950,000 persons, mostly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, sought asylum in the EU, of whom close to 360,000 did so in the third quarter, Eurostat said on Thursday.

Rejected Afghan asylum seekers return from Germany, wonder what next

A group of 34 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in Afghanistan early Thursday morning, some of them less than a day after they'd learned they would be deported.

EU determined to maintain refugee pact with Turkey, Juncker says

The European Union is determined to maintain its refugee pact with Turkey despite tensions with the country's leadership, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.

EU report: Cooperation with Niger, Mali has not yet curbed arrivals

EU cooperation with five African countries has helped limit migrant movements in West Africa but not yet reduced the number of arrivals to European shores, according to report released Wednesday from the European Commission.

Germany to deport first group of failed Afghan asylum seekers

Some 50 failed asylum seekers from Afghanistan were to be deported from Frankfurt Airport to Kabul on Wednesday, the first group deportation as part of an agreement the German government made with Kabul in October.

Italy jails Tunisian for 18 years for huge deadly migrant shipwreck

A Tunisian man accused of causing a huge migrant shipwreck last year, in which at least 700 people are believed to have died, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years' imprisonment, in a landmark ruling by an Italian court.

Croatian and Austrian interior ministers meet to discuss Schengen zone, migrant crisis

Croatia and Austria are connected by a long tradition of friendship and cooperation in security, Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said in Zagreb on Monday, praising Croatia for its management of the migrant crisis and expressing support for its accession to the Schengen passport-free zone as soon as possible.

EU report: Migrant transfers to Greece under asylum rules can restart

Greece's improved ability to register and process asylum seekers is a sign that a gradual return to EU asylum rules can start in March, the European Commission said Thursday.

Italy coastguard: more than 1,000 migrants saved, 16 bodies recovered

Some 1,022 people were saved and 16 bodies were recovered in recent migrant rescues on the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said Monday.

Merkel's CDU to toughen ayslum laws at party conference

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's signalled on Monday that her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) will toughen their asylum stance when they meet for their annual party conference this week.

Two migrants die in Austria while hiding in freight train

Two migrants have died in Austria while hiding in a goods train, police said on Saturday.

European democracy damaged by migration crisis, says Hungary's Orban

European democracy is "tattered" because leading politicians failed to understand how their own people wanted the migration crisis handled, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday.

German court upholds fine against Pegida founder after refugee slurs

A court on Wednesday upheld a fine against the founder of Germany's anti-Islam movement Pegida for inciting hatred against foreigners by referring to refugees as "cattle," "garbage" and a "dirty bunch" on Facebook last year.

German court rules against deporting refugee to Hungary

A German court ruled on Tuesday against the nation deporting an asylum seeker to Hungary because of the Central European state's "inhumane and degrading treatment" of refugees.

Winter cold hits Greece's exposed migrants

A sharp temperature drop in Greece raised concern that thousands of migrants exposed to the cold may flee their inadequate shelters and seek new protection in city streets, local media reported Tuesday.

Eight migrants found dead off Malta, one in intensive care

Eight migrants died and one is intensive care in Malta after they were found in a floating dinghy between the Mediterranean island and Libya, according to press reports on Sunday.