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European migrant crisis: How states have responded

  • Action taken by member states:
Migrants walking on a highway in Denmark
Denmark received more than 21,000 asylum seekers in 2015. Credit: Reuters/Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix

Denmark:

Passed a “jewellery bill” on Tuesday allowing cash and valuables worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1,000) to be taken from migrants and asylum seekers to pay for their stay, despite criticism from human rights groups.

Items of sentimental value, such as wedding rings, will be exempt.

The new law also extends the time migrants must wait until family members can join them in the country to up to three years.

Denmark additionally introduced checks on its southern border with Germany earlier this month in an attempt to reduce the number of migrants entering. A number of other EU states have taken similar measures.

Germany:

Germany is rethinking its open-door policy, partly because of outrage over assaults reportedly carried out by migrants on women in Cologne at New Year.

Angela Merkel has proposed new draft laws to deny asylum for those convicted of crimes – even minor offences – or who are on probation ahead of a trial. She also wants to deport foreigners who have served a prison sentence in Germany.

The country introduced ‘temporary’ border controls with Austria several months ago, turning back scores of asylum seekers and migrants each day when it became concerned about being overwhelmed.

Some authorities have begun confiscating cash and valuables from arriving migrants.

A number of states have introduced 'temporary' border controls
A number of states have introduced 'temporary' border controls Credit: Reuters

Hungary:

Closed the borders with Croatia and Serbia, which were shut off with a razor wire fence ,and introduced tighter checks on crossings to Slovenia in October.

Migrants are only able to enter Hungary at official border crossings set up exclusively to process refugees.

President Viktor Orban has also been among the hardest voices pushing for stronger EU controls, suggesting Greece be closed off to the rest of Europe in an attempt to stop migrant arrivals.

Tents in the Calais 'jungle'
Migrants living in tents in Calais have frequently clashed with police over conditions in the camp. Credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

France:

As the number of migrants living in shanty towns around the Euro tunnel continued to grow, France announced plans for a huge new refugee camp in late 2015 – the first such new camp for 13 years.

It replaces the notorious old “Sangette” centre, closed down in 2002 following numerous claims of human rights abuses.

France also imposed tighter border controls following the latest terror attacks in Paris in November and wants the rest of Europe to start to collect passenger name records from those travelling within the region.

Greece:

One of the main arrival points for migrants and refugees, Greece has been heavily-criticised by other European countries for not controlling its borders properly.

More than 850,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece last year.

Last month it agreed on a plan to deploy guards from the EU border agency Frontex on its northern border and formally asked for help to deal with huge numbers of migrants landing on the Greece islands.

It has also built a razor-wire fence across its border with Turkey in 2015.

Migrants huddle round a campfire in a camp in France
Migrants huddle round a campfire in a camp in France Credit: Reuters
  • What people say:

Victor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister

"I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country."

"We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see."

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

“I am proud that we are giving a friendly welcome to refugees."

"Germany is willing to help. But it is not just a German challenge, but one for all of Europe...Europe must act together and take on responsibility. Germany can't shoulder this task alone."

Migrants arrive in an overcrowded boat to the Greek island of Lesbos
Migrants arrive in an overcrowded boat to the Greek island of Lesbos Credit: Reuters

Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

"I urge Europe to do more."

"The future does not belong to those who seek to build walls or exploit fears."

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

"I and many others believe it is right for us to reduce the incentives for people who want to come here."

"Changes to welfare to cut EU migration will be an absolute requirement in my renegotiation."

yrian migrants cross under a fence into Hungary at the border with Serbia
Checkpoints, border patrols and fences are being put in place in different parts of Europe. Credit: Reuters/Bernardett Szabo

Pope Francis

“The present wave of migration seems to be undermining the foundations of that ‘humanistic spirit’ which Europe has always loved and defended.”

"Europe, aided by its great cultural and religious heritage, has the means to defend the centrality of the human person and to find the right balance between its two-fold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants."

Last updated Wed 27 Jan 2016

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Q&A: How EU's Schengen could be halted by migrant crisis

AFP
2 hours ago
 
Article 26 of the Schengen code allows members of the 26-country zone, which includes most EU countries, to reintroduce internal border controls for a maximum of two years in exceptional circumstances
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Brussels (AFP) - The EU is mulling a partial suspension of the passport-free Schengen zone to cope with the migration crisis, but how would it do it and what other steps is Brussels considering?

 

- Why extend Schengen border checks? -

The Schengen zone allows travel without passports or visa across 26 countries -- 22 European Union states plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein. This means that the entry state for non-EU nationals is effectively the external border.

In the last few months, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and member Norway have all introduced temporary controls over the migrant crisis, but with a limit of six months. France reimposed them over terrorism fears.

EU interior ministers meeting in Amsterdam on Monday asked the European Commission -- the EU executive arm -- about extending the checks for up to two years as they fear refugee flows from Syria and other countries will pick up again in the spring.

The member states are required to inform the commission, which reviews whether they meet the criteria for reintroducing controls to a borderless area that is a cherished pillar of European unity and freedom.

The flexibility in the Schengen system to restore temporary checks when needed is designed to relieve the borderless zone from pressures that could cause its collapse.

- What is basis for longer checks? -

Updated map showing measures taken by countries within the Schengen Area to restrict movement of mig …

Article 26 of the Schengen code allows members of the 26-country zone, which includes most EU countries, to reintroduce internal border controls for a maximum of two years in exceptional circumstances.

Based on a proposal from the European Commission, the European Council, the grouping of member states, will make a recommendation on extensions of up to two years.

"It's a last resort, but does not amount to a suspension of Schengen. It's about allowing the few countries that re-established controls to extend them if they have to," a legal expert told AFP.

A European Commission report on Wednesday accusing Greece of "seriously neglecting" the EU's external borders and giving it three months to comply could pave the way for an easier introduction of a two-year suspension.

- Will Macedonia-Greece border close? -

Migration flows over the Greek border to non-EU Macedonia have been a major concern, especially when the Western Balkans route for migrants was at its most used during the summer.

The European Commission confirmed on Monday that it had sent a mission to Macedonia to discuss how it could help staunch the numbers.

Migrants and refugees wait in line for a security check after crossing the Macedonian border into Se …

Slovenia last week called for Macedonia to effectively seal off its border with Greece.

- Why Turkey is key? -

Under a deal that the EU sealed last November after tough negotiations, Turkey pledged to break the migrant flow through its territory to Greece, the route that most refugees and migrants take to Europe.

The Turks pledged to tighten their borders, notably by promising to fight smugglers who operate on their territory, accept more "readmissions" of migrants who could not claim refugee status, and let refugees find work.

The Europeans among other things promised to provide Turkey with three billion euros ($3.26 billion) of aid, mainly for projects to improve the daily lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

But the EU is complaining that between 2,000 and 3,000 migrants were still arriving daily via Turkey.

- What's going on with hotspots? -

Greece and Italy are setting up 11 "hotspots," or centres where EU and other officials register arriving migrants before determining whether they can be admitted to Europe as asylum seekers or rejected as economic migrants.

But Greece has so far only set up one out of its five planned "hotspots".

Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has publicly slammed member states for being too slow to deliver on a deal to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers over two years.

Only 157 have so far been relocated from Greece and 257 from Italy.

- How to bolster EU external borders? -

EU states flooded with asylum seekers say the problem can be eased with stronger external borders like the Greek-Turkish one. The EU hopes to reach agreement by June 30 on setting up a new pan-European border and coastguard force, which could intervene in member states without the host country's consent.

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Someone ought to explain to the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 about the ban then, because you see pictures like these on tele almost every night. Except without the careful editing and laughable sinister music, of course. It's funny how right wing propaganda films like these, which are all over FB all the time, have always been BANNED!!!, yet it's never explained to you who banned then, how, and why they are self-evidently really, really bad at banning things. You can also see films like this on the History Channel, because they are very closely modelled on the anti Semitic films made by the Nazis. Something which genuinely hasn't been widely reported is the fact that the people of the Greek islands dealing with the bulk of the refugees are in the process of being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of their amazing, voluntary efforts to rescue, shelter, feed and clothe their fellow human beings. Just as the good people of Bute are doing right now, on a much smaller scale. But we won't talk about that, because it's not Brown People Baaaaaad.

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Syrian orphans who reach Europe and show family in Britain WILL be flown to the UK despite David Cameron insisting it would be wrong 

  • David Cameron was under pressure from charities, opposition MPs to act
  • Save the Children say Britain should take 3,000 children who are in Europe
  • PM rejected the plea saying it would encourage more to try to reach the EU
  • 'Dublin' rules say families can be reunified if one person legally reaches UK
  • UK will now work with UN to resettle children directly from conflict regions 

 

Published: 00:27, 28 January 2016 | Updated: 13:31, 28 January 2016

Syrian children who make it to Greece or Italy and have family in Britain will be flown here, it emerged today.

Britain is to spend £10million to help improve Europe's system for dealing with migrants fleeing war in the Middle East.

Part of the money will be spent on making the UK 'more proactive' in finding unaccompanied children who have family in the UK.

The announcement comes despite David Cameron repeatedly insisting he would not support any policies to relocate refugees already in Europe to Britain because this would create a 'magnet' for more people to try and make the journey.

David Cameron last night rejected calls for Britain to take in 3,000 migrant children who have made the journey to Europe (pictured, migrants arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos)
 
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David Cameron last night rejected calls for Britain to take in 3,000 migrant children who have made the journey to Europe (pictured, migrants arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos)

30A0CAFA00000578-3420101-image-a-11_1453
 
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David Cameron (pictured) said caving in would encourage thousands of youngsters to undertake dangerous boat journeys across the Mediterranean

Under the so-called Dublin convention, refugees have to claim asylum in the country where they first arrive in the European Union.

But the rules allow for families to be reunited if a new refugee can show they have a relative legally in another country - including Britain.

The process is automatic for a parent while aunts, uncles and grandparents can also trigger the rule.

The announcement was part of a package aimed at easing pressure on the government after Mr Cameron ruled out taking 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children identified by Save the Children as already in Europe.

Instead, Britain will ask the UN to identify the most vulnerable children in refugee camps on the border of Syria so they can be brought to the UK - over and above the 20,000 resettlements already promised. 

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire today said Britain was taking a 'measured' approach to the migration crisis in Europe.

And he told MPs: 'We have asked the UNHCR to make an assessment of the numbers and needs of unaccompanied children in conflict regions and advise on when it is in the best interests of the child to be resettled in the UK and how that process should be managed.

'The UNHCR has already been clear that these are likely to be exceptional cases.'

The minister added: The UK Government will also commit to providing further resources to the European Asylum Support Office to help in “hotspots” such as Greece and Italy to help identify and register children at risk on first arrival in the EU.

'And we will, of course, continue to meet our obligations under the Dublin Regulations.' 

The Prime Minister's official spokesman today confirmed Britain will be 'more proactive' in identifying children in Greece and Italy who have a family link to the UK.

Mr Cameron's refusal to take in the 3,000 unaccompanied children mirrors a decision last summer not to take a fixed number of the refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and elsewhere (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)
 
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Mr Cameron's refusal to take in the 3,000 unaccompanied children mirrors a decision last summer not to take a fixed number of the refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and elsewhere (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)

Cameron said 'no country in Europe has been more generous than Britain in funding refugee camps, whether they are in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan' (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)
 
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Cameron said 'no country in Europe has been more generous than Britain in funding refugee camps, whether they are in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan' (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)

 
 
 

The spokesman said: 'We are looking at the areas where you have the largest amount of refugees arriving and what we’re trying to do is protect children as much as possible from exploitation, from traffickers and so on.

'The clear driver from the Government has been to keep people in the region and that remains our core goal.

'But where people have made have made that perilous journey and travelled across where people we want to dissuade further engagement between children and traffickers who might want to take them across Europe.

'This is very much about trying to identify those children who have arrived in Greece and Italy who have a direct family link with the UK.'  

HOW HIS AID MINISTER JUSTINE GOT IT SO WRONG 

David Cameron's decision on child refugees comes only days after the International Development Secretary dropped a heavy hint that the UK would take in 3,000 youngsters from Europe.

On Sunday, The Observer newspaper claimed the PM was close to giving in to demands by charities and taking children directly from the continent.

No 10 insiders dismissed the report, insisting that no decision had been taken. But Justine Greening told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News: 'We've steadily evolved our approach as this crisis has evolved, we've been right at the forefront, frankly, of helping children who have been affected by this crisis and will continue to look at how we can do that over the coming days and weeks.' Her comments followed a visit to refugee camps in France on Saturday by Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader called on Mr Cameron to offer children not just a refuge in the UK but proper homes and education, saying: 'We must reach out the hand of humanity to the victims of war.'

Mr Cameron's refusal to take in the 3,000 unaccompanied children mirrors a decision last summer not to take a fixed number of the refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and elsewhere.

The Prime Minister was under pressure to throw open the UK's doors when photographs were published of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach after an overcrowded boat carrying his family capsized. 

But he said this would only make matters worse, which has been proved correct by the chaos triggered by Germany's decision to say the country would accept a million asylum seekers. 

Instead of helping to solve the humanitarian crisis, it has led to even more people trying to flood into Europe.

Yesterday, Mr Cameron faced down his critics – saying 'no country in Europe has been more generous than Britain in funding refugee camps, whether they are in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan'.

He added: 'We said that we would resettle 20,000 people in our country, and we promised to resettle 1,000 by Christmas. We achieved that.

'If we add up all that Europe has done under its relocation and resettlement schemes, we find that all the other 27 member states have done less than we have done here in the United Kingdom, because of those 1,000.

'Yes, we should take part in European schemes when it is in our interests to do so, and help to secure the external European border; but we are out of Schengen, we keep our own borders, and under this Government that is the way it will stay.'

Rather than taking children direct from mainland Europe, the UK is to work with UNHCR on an initiative to identify and resettle unaccompanied refugee children direct from conflict regions such as Syria.

Officials will look for the most vulnerable cases but check they are genuinely on their own without relatives to look after them.

Meanwhile, the Department for International Development will use the aid budget to create a fund of up to £10 million to support the needs of 'vulnerable' migrant children in Europe.

Extra funds will also be ploughed into the European Asylum Support Office to help Greece and Italy identify migrants, including children, who could be reunited with family members elsewhere in Europe. In a small number of cases, this could involve allowing them to move to Britain.

The Prime Minister's wife Samantha is an ambassador for Save the Children, which has been leading the campaign to let in unaccompanied children. 

She spoke recently of her horror at the tragic stories of Syrian mothers and children living in refugee camps in Lebanon. This led to speculation at the weekend that Mr Cameron would agree to take children direct from Europe. 

It was further fuelled by Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, who said the Government was 'looking at whether we can do more… over the coming days and weeks'.

Tory MPs have cautioned against the Government making the same mistakes as other EU countries, which have suffered a backlash after letting in large numbers of migrants. 

 
 
 
Rather than taking children direct from mainland Europe, the UK is to work with UNHCR on an initiative to identify and resettle unaccompanied refugee children direct from conflict regions such as Syria (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)
 
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Rather than taking children direct from mainland Europe, the UK is to work with UNHCR on an initiative to identify and resettle unaccompanied refugee children direct from conflict regions such as Syria (pictured, migrants in Macedonia)

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10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis

British ministers including Theresa May and Philip Hammond have made hair-raising claims about the dangers of migrants entering the country. But do the facts bear them out?

 

Migrants near Calais earlier this month.

 

Migrants near Calais earlier this month. Photograph: Philippe Huguen

 

When you’re facing the world’s biggest refugee crisis since the second world war, it helps to have a sober debate about how to respond. But to do that, you need facts and data – two things that the British migration debate has lacked this summer. Theresa May got the ball rolling in May, when she claimed on Radio 4 that the vast majority of migrants to Europe are Africans travelling for economic reasons. The media has followed suit, one example being the Daily Mail’s unsubstantiated recent assertion that seven in 10 migrants at Calais will reach the UK.

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond this week not only repeated May’s claims about African economic migrants, but portrayed them as marauders who would soon hasten the collapse of European civilisation. Hammond, like many people, could do with some actual statistics about the migration crisis. Here are 10 of the key ones:

62%

Far from being propelled by economic migrants, this crisis is mostly about refugees. The assumption by the likes of Hammond, May and others is that the majority of those trying to reach Europe are fleeing poverty, which is not considered by the international community as a good enough reason to move to another country. Whereas in fact, by the end of July, 62% of those who had reached Europe by boat this year were from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan, according to figures compiled by the UN. These are countries torn apart by war, dictatorial oppression, and religious extremism – and, in Syria’s case, all three. Their citizens almost always have the legal right to refuge in Europe. And if you add to the mix those coming from Darfur, Iraq, Somalia, and some parts of Nigeria – then the total proportion of migrants likely to qualify for asylum rises to well over 70%.

1%

If you read the British press, you’d think that Calais was the major battleground of the European migrant crisis, and that Britain was the holy grail of its protagonists. In reality, the migrants at Calais account for as little as 1% of those who have arrived in Europe so far this year. Estimates suggest that between 2,000-5,000 migrants have reached Calais, which is between 1% and 2.5% of the more than 200,000 who have landed in Italy and Greece. Just as importantly, there is no evidence to suggest that as many as seven in 10 have reached Britain after arriving in Calais. The Daily Mail admitted this several paragraphs into its article.

0.027%

Hammond said that the migrants would speed the collapse of the European social order. In reality, the number of migrants to have arrived so far this year (200,000) is so minuscule that it constitutes just 0.027% of Europe’s total population of 740 million. The world’s wealthiest continent can easily handle such a comparatively small influx.

 

A young Syrian refugee in the Greek island of Kos.

 

A young Syrian refugee in the Greek island of Kos. Photograph: YANNIS BEHRAKIS/REUTERS

1.2 million

There are countries with social infrastructure at breaking point because of the refugee crisis – but they aren’t in Europe. The most obvious example is Lebanon, which houses 1.2 million Syrian refugees within a total population of roughly 4.5 million. To put that in context, a country that is more than 100 times smaller than the EU has already taken in more than 50 times as many refugees as the EU will even consider resettling in the future. Lebanon has a refugee crisis. Europe – and, in particular, Britain – does not.

£36.95

Many claim that Britain is a coveted destination for migrants because of its generous benefits system. Aside from the reality that most migrants have little prior knowledge of the exact nature of each European country’s asylum system, it is not true that the UK is particularly beneficent. Each asylum seeker in Britain gets a meagre £36.95 to live on (and they are not usually allowed to work to supplement this sum). In France, whose policies are supposedly driving up the numbers at Calais, migrants actually receive substantially more. According to the Asylum Information Database, asylum seekers in France receive up to £56.62 a week. Germany and Sweden – the two most popular migrant destinations – pay out £35.21 and £36.84 a week respectively, only fractionally less than Britain.

50%

In the dog-whistle rhetoric of Hammond and Theresa May, the archetypal contemporary migrant in Europe is from Africa. But again, that’s not true. This year, according to UN figures, 50% alone are from two non-African countries: Syria (38%) and Afghanistan (12%). When migrants from Pakistan, Iraq and Iran are added into the equation, it becomes clear that the number of African migrants is significantly less than half. Even so, as discussed above, many of them – especially those from Eritrea, Darfur, and Somalia – have legitimate claims to refugee status.

 

Royal Marines with migrants rescued off the Libyan coast in June.

 

Royal Marines with migrants rescued off the Libyan coast in June. Photograph: Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror/PA

4%

Last autumn, the EU opted to suspend full-scale maritime rescue operations in the Mediterranean in the belief that their presence was encouraging more migrants to risk the sea journey from Libya to Europe. In reality, people kept on coming. In fact, there was a 4% year-on-year increase during the months that the rescue missions were on hiatus. Over 27,800 tried the journey in 2015, or died in the attempt, until operations were reinstated in May, according to figures from the International Organisation for Migration. Only 26,740 tried it in 2014. The disparity suggests that migrants were either unaware of the rescue operations in the first place, or simply unbothered by their suspension – a thesis borne out by my own interviews. “I don’t think that even if they decided to bomb migrant boats it would change peoples’ decision to go,” said Abu Jana, a Syrian I met as he was planning to make the sea voyage earlier this year.

25,870

Contrary to the perception of the UK as the high altar of immigration, it is not a particularly major magnet for refugees. In 2014, just 25,870 people sought asylum in the UK, and only 10,050 were accepted. Germany (97275), France (68500), Sweden (39,905) and Italy (35,180) were all far more affected. When the ratings are calculated as a proportion to population size, the UK slips even further down the table – behind Belgium, Holland and Austria. If the ratings were calculated on 2015 rates, then even impoverished Greece would rise above the UK in the table. Just as tellingly, the UK has welcomed just 187 Syrians through legal mechanisms at the last count. Turkey has around 1.6 million.

€11bn

Hammond and David Cameron argue that the solution to migration is to increase deportations. They believe this will save Britain money, as less cash will be spent on paying each asylum seeker £36.95 per week. However, this strategy ignores the cost of deportations – whose alleged financial cost could rival that of the asylum seekers’ benefits bill. According to a series of investigations by the website The Migrant Files, as many as €11bn have been spent on repatriating migrants to their countries of origin since 2000. A further billion has been blown on Europe-wide coordination efforts to secure European borders – money that could have been spent on integrating migrants into European society.

-76,439

Despite the hysteria, the number of refugees in the UK has actually fallen by 76,439 since 2011. That’s according to Britain’s Refugee Council, which crunched the numbers gleaned from UN data and found that the number of refugees in the UK fell from 193,600 to 117,161 in the past four years. By comparison, the proportion of refugees housed by developing countries in the past 10 years has risen, according to the UN, from 70% to 86%. Britain could be doing far more.

 

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Migrant crisis: Germany attacks on asylum hostels soar

  • 3 hours ago
  • From the section Europe
 
Image copyright AFP Image caption An arson attack gutted this migrant hostel in Reichertshofen, south Germany, last July

Five times more attacks were carried out on migrant hostels in Germany last year than in 2014, German police say.

The total for 2015 was 1,005, compared with 199 in 2014, the police report said. Far-right activists are suspected in 90% of the cases.

Last year a record 1.1 million people sought asylum in Germany - many from war-torn Syria. Many local authorities have struggled to house them.

Germany is expanding its list of safe countries, hoping to curb the influx.

The governing coalition plans to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia safe countries of origin, making it easier to send migrants back, said Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

Last year Germany did the same for several Balkan nations - including Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo - to cut the large numbers of migrants claiming asylum. Very few of their applications are granted.

The police say the biggest rise in attacks on migrant hostels last year was registered in the mainly industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

State Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger said "investigators have noticed a marked increase in aggressive language" towards migrants on the internet.

  

Overnight a hand grenade was thrown at a migrant hostel in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. A security man found the unexploded grenade, in Villingen-Schwenningen.

Most of the thousands of migrants arriving daily on Greek islands hope to get asylum in Germany.

On Thursday 26 migrants drowned off a Greek island after their boat capsized.

The migrants died near the island of Samos, near Turkey. Ten of the victims were children.

In other developments:

  • Six bodies were discovered by the Italian navy in a sinking dinghy off the Libyan coast
  • The Netherlands proposed sending migrants reaching Greece back to Turkey by ferry
  • Sweden said as many as 80,000 people who arrived to the country last year could fail in their requests for asylum and face deportation

Migrant crisis: Who does the EU send back?

  

Where Europe is failing on migrants

  • The 28 member states have not agreed on an EU-wide mechanism for relocating migrants, to ease the burden on Greece and Italy; only small groups have been relocated so far - and several states in Central and Eastern Europe refuse to accept migrants
  • The Schengen agreement on freedom of movement is in jeopardy - Hungary fenced off its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia; meanwhile Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France have also reimposed border controls
  • The Dublin regulation, under which refugees are required to claim asylum in the member state in which they first arrive, is not working effectively; countries are no longer sending back migrants to their first point of entry to the EU
  • Thousands of migrants - many of them Syrian war refugees - still arrive daily from Turkey
  • Processing of asylum applications is slow and there is a big backlog - so reception centres are overcrowded
  • Germany - the main destination for migrants - is rethinking its open-door policy, partly because of outrage over assaults on women in Cologne at New Year

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