Tensions rise at Greece-FYROM border; Turkey to re-admit migrants, Feb 26 – March 4

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(Deutche Welle)

Headlines from Greece, Europe and Turkey for the week, Feb 29 to March 4

GREECE

Turkey to accept non-Syrian migrants on Greek Islands and those rescued by NATO in international waters. (Athens News Agency, March 4)

Greece needs support for refugees but economic reforms cannot be relaxed, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. (Athens News Agency, March 3)

TV crews, reporters banned from migrant hotspots and refugee camps on both mainland Greece and islands. (Athens News Agency, Feb. 29)

Migrants at the Greek border town of Idomeni attempt to break the border fence with the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, chanting “free, free, we can pass,” as FYROMauthorities deploy teargas. (Deutsche Welle, Feb. 29)

Greek farmers end road blockades, will continue protest and rallies at the parliament, tax offices as the decision for the third bailout looms. (EKathimerini, Feb. 29)

EUROPE

Europe to re-open border area by the end of 2016; to not restore Schengen would cause billions in economic damage. (Deutsche Welle, March 4)

Asylum seekers in the EU doubled in 2015 and were primarily Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, according to Eurostat. (The Guardian, March 4)

Treatment for refugees and migrants in the EU lacking for women, who along with children are now the majority of those arriving in Europe. (Deutsche Welle, March 3)

Refugees set shelters on fire to protest the decision to dismantle the Calais migrant camp in northern France. (The Guardian, Feb. 29)

TURKEY

Opposition “Zaman” newspaper seized by Turkish government. (Deutsche Welle, March 4)

Evacuations in southeast Turkey after counterterror operations against PKK militants. (Hurriyet Daily News, March 3)

June 1 deadline for Turkey to stem flow of migrants to Europe. (Hurriyet Daily News, March 4)

OPINION

“A few million desperate people would hardly upset the overall balance [of the European Union], especially as the migrants are typically young and often well educated. Bearing in mind Europe’s moral obligation toward Syrians and Iraqis, whose countries were ruined in part due to European complicity, a rational and humane approach by the EU would have entailed safe passage, humanitarian aid, proportionate allocation across its territory, and help with integration,” Costas Lapavitsas said in his op-ed in the Guardian. Lapavitsas, a professor of economics at the University of London and a former Syriza MP, argued that with the Eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis and the Brexit threat, the very ideals of the European Union are at stake in 2016. (The Guardian, March 4)

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