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The Latest: Migrants in Greece Fear Moving, Protest

The Latest: Migrants in Greece Fear Moving, Protest

Wednesday, 06 April 2016 07:13 AM

DIKILI, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Europe's response to the continuing tide of refugees (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Dozens of migrants and refugees are staging a sit-down protest in the Greece's main port of Piraeus, where thousands have been camping out for weeks, after reports that authorities would try to move the people there into organized camps.

Dozens shouted at police and sat on the dock chanting "open the borders." Greek authorities have been trying to persuade the more than 4,700 people camping in small tents in the port to move to organized camps, but few have been boarding the buses provided. Many fear the conditions in the organized camp will be worse than in the port, or that they could be restricted in their movements.

More than 53,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece since Europe closed its land borders last month.

12:15 p.m.

After a crisis that has shaken the European Union to its core, the EU's executive wants a fundamental reform of its migrant policies that heaped pressure on some nations like Greece as a million migrants and refugees have arrive over the past year.

In a draft document to other EU institutions and seen by The Associated Press, the EU Commission wants to amend the principle where the first nation of call must process the asylum request.

Under both options put to the member states and the parliament, a "distribution key" to spread asylum applicants around the EU would be central.

A mandatory distribution of the current influx of asylum seekers has already caused serious friction among many EU nations.

The Commission presents its proposals later Wednesday.

11:50 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande says that the European Union's biggest problem is its slow decision-making process — whether in the financial crisis, the fight against terrorism or a common response to the refugee crisis.

In an interview published Wednesday in the German daily Bild, Hollande said Wednesday that "in the end (Europe) always succeeds in finding a solution ... but we have to pay a high price for the lost time."

The French president, who is meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in France for government consultations on Thursday, also stressed that the refugee crisis needs a common European response instead of national decisions by different European countries.

Hollande said that when it comes to migration, 2016 cannot be a repeat of 2015 — which saw more than 1 million migrants entering the EU.

11:05 a.m.

The Turkish coast guard has apprehended dozens of migrants on the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece.

About 60 people, including some Syrians, were brought to a coast guard station in the western province of Izmir on Wednesday.

The European Union began sending back migrants this week under a deal with Turkey aimed at preventing illegal migration to Europe.

On Monday, 202 migrants from 11 countries were sent back to Turkey from the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios.

The same day, 155 migrants were caught on the Aegean by the Turkish coast guard.

Meanwhile, dozens of Syrians were flown to German, Finland and the Netherlands on Monday and Tuesday.

The EU-Turkey deal stipulates that for every Syrian returned from Europe to Turkey another should be resettled in Europe.

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The Latest on Europe's response to the continuing tide of refugees (all times local):2:05 p.m.Dozens of migrants and refugees are staging a sit-down protest in the Greece's main port of Piraeus, where thousands have been camping out for weeks, after reports that authorities...
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2016-13-06
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 07:13 AM
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