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Friday, May 5, 2017

EU migrant crisis ~Chinese to blame says EU Commissioner for migration !!

Dimitris Avramopoulos  is a Greek politician of the conservative New Democracy party, and former career diplomat,in news now.  After serving  various high-level cabinet posts, including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for National Defence, and as Mayor of Athens, he is serving as EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the Juncker Commission since Nov 2014.  The Aegean Sea  also in news is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey.

Whilst there is global call for peaceful living, there has been crisis and more  than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx, and creating division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people. The vast majority arrived by sea but some migrants have made their way over land, principally via Turkey and Albania.  The trouble is because the migrants are changing the cultural practices and have exploded violently causing trouble to the locals.

At the largest migrant camp in Paris, just outside the Porte de La Chapelle metro station, as is elsewhere,  hundreds of migrants live in tents. Many of them blame Europe for not giving them documentation or free housing. The Porte de Le Chapelle migrant camp is the largest outdoor makeshift camp in the French capital and is home to several hundred migrants, most of whom come from African countries like Sudan, Eritrea, and Nigeria.

The European migrant crisis,  or the European refugee crisis, began in 2015 when rising numbers of people arrived illegally in the European Union (EU), travelling across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through Southeast Europe. These people included not only asylum seekers, but also encompassed various others, such as economic migrants,and  some no.  of hostile agents including "Islamic State militants".  The unauthorized foreign migrants came mostly from Muslim-majority countries of regions south and east of Europe; by religious affiliation, the majority of entrants were Muslim (usually Sunni Muslim), with a small component of non-Muslim minorities (including Yazidis, Assyrians, Mandeans, etc.).

The number of deaths at sea rose to record levels in April 2015, when five boats carrying almost 2,000 migrants to Europe sank in the Mediterranean Sea, with a combined death toll estimated at more than 1,200 people. Amid an upsurge in the number of sea arrivals in Italy from Libya in 2014, several European Union governments refused to fund the Italian-run rescue option Operation Mare Nostrum, which was replaced by Frontex's Operation Triton in November 2014. In the first six months of 2015, Greece overtook Italy as the first EU country of arrival, becoming, in the summer 2015, the starting point of a flow of refugees and migrants moving through Balkan countries to northern European countries, mainly Germany and Sweden.

Since April 2015, the European Union has struggled to cope with the crisis ~ and can you zero in on the reasons ?  - here is one many would never think of !! -  The EU has urged China to clamp down on the sale of inflatable dinghies which are falling into the hands of smuggling gangs and used to carry migrants on treacherous sea journeys to Europe.  Thousands have died, often while attempting to cross the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas in flimsy rubber boats. The EU wants China to help prevent migrants and refugees using Chinese-made inflatable boats to get into the bloc by stopping the boats reaching them. People smuggling has become especially deadly as traffickers are using riskier tactics, bigger boats and less seaworthy vessels !

Speaking at a press conference today, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, said: 'China can help and support the EU in its fight against migrant smugglers.' He added: 'The rubber boats used by smuggler networks in the Mediterranean are fabricated somewhere in China. 'I requested the support and cooperation from the Chinese authorities in order to track down this business and dismantle it, because what they produce is not serving the common good of the country. 'It is a very dangerous tool in the hands of ruthless smugglers.'

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed into Greece from the nearby Turkish coast, hoping to head to more prosperous European countries. But a European Union-Turkey deal reached last year - in which those arriving on Greek islands face deportation back to Turkey - has significantly reduced the number of people attempting to cross the Aegean.   Mr Avramopoulos said he had begun talks with China aimed at helping to fight the smuggling networks.He met with China's public-security minister Guo Shengkun  and requested the support of the Chinese authorities in order to track down this business and dismantle it.  Brussels and Beijing are also looking to cooperate on cybersecurity, anti-terrorism measures, organised crime, money-laundering and drug trafficking.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th May 2017. 

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