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The Latest: UNHCR Says Cooler Weather Reduces Sea Crossings

The Latest: UNHCR Says Cooler Weather Reduces Sea Crossings

Friday, 02 October 2015 05:46 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The latest developments in the hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants passing through Europe on their way west. All times local.

11:35 a.m.

The U.N. refugee agency is reporting a "noticeable drop" this week in arrivals of refugees by sea into Greece — as the total figure for the year nears the 400,000 mark.

Citing cooler, windier weather that makes the crossing from Turkey more dangerous, UNHCR said Friday that 1,500 people crossed the Aegean Sea a day earlier — down from an average of 5,000 per day in recent weeks.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said "any improvement in the weather is likely to bring another surge in arrivals." The agency anticipates 700,000 arrivals total by year end.

Overall, the UNHCR estimates 396,500 people have entered Greece via the Mediterranean this year. Seventy percent of them are from Syria.

The International Organization for Migration has a higher figure of inflows to Greece.

11:25 a.m.

Hungary's prime minister says his Croatian counterpart is an envoy of a global left-wing organization whose job is to attack Hungary.

Orban said Friday on state radio that the parties in the Socialist International, which includes Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's Social Democratic Party, think the wave of migrants reaching Europe is a "good thing" and their leaders "are following the orders not so much of their people as of the Socialist International."

Orban said Hungary does not consider "what the Croatian prime minister says to be the opinion of the Croatian people."

Politicians from the two countries have been trading barbs since Hungary's decision on Sept. 15 to close its border with Serbia with a high fence protected by razor wire, police and soldiers.

Now, thousands of migrants a day are streaming into Hungary from neighboring Croatia in search of clear routes toward Germany and other destinations in the European Union.

Hungarian officials say they are close to completing a fence on the Croatian border, as well.

8:50 a.m.

Hungary's prime minister says the refugees and migrants arriving in Europe are mostly young men who "look more like an army than asylum seekers."

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday on state radio that while he did not reject the right of any country to try to solve its demographic problems "with young men from the Arab world who look like warriors," it was unacceptable "to have this forced upon Hungary."

Orban, who is advocating for global quotas for receiving migrants, says it is unfair for countries like the United States, the rich Arab states, Israel and Australia to expect Europe to take in the migrants while accepting few or none themselves.

He said that if Europe tried to solve the migration crisis and other global problems on its own, "we will crush the lifestyle ... values and strengths we have developed in the past several hundreds of years."

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The latest developments in the hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants passing through Europe on their way west. All times local.11:35 a.m.The U.N. refugee agency is reporting a "noticeable drop" this week in arrivals of refugees by sea into Greece - as the...
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2015-46-02
Friday, 02 October 2015 05:46 AM
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