The Latest: Greek Ferries Carry 4000 Migrants to Mainland – New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 1, 2015
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The latest developments as tens of thousands of migrants flood into countries across Europe. All times local (CET):
Hungary’s defense minister says up to 3,500 soldiers could be sent to the southern border with Serbia to help with the migrant crisis.
Defense Minister Csaba Hende reassured lawmakers on Tuesday that troops would not use deadly force to disperse unarmed crowds of migrants.
Using troops at the border is one of several measures regarding migrants to be debated this week by the Hungarian parliament and take effect Sept. 15. Others include longer prison terms for human traffickers and making it a felony to cut through the border fence or to enter Hungary anywhere except at official border stations.
Two ferries chartered by Greece are carrying more than 4,000 migrants from its overwhelmed eastern Aegean islands to the mainland.
The ferries are to arrive in Piraeus, the main port near Athens, later Tuesday night. The government began the ferry runs from islands such as Lesbos and Kos in mid-August due to a scarcity of tickets on regular ferries at the height of the summer tourist season.
Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the Greek islands, with families sleeping out in the open for days in streets and parks until they can get a ferry ticket to Piraeus.
In addition, Greece’s coast guard says it rescued nearly 1,200 migrants from the sea off the islands in the last 24 hours.
The chief of Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, says trafficking in fake Syrian passports has increased, notably in Turkey, creating a windfall for criminal gangs and a boon for migrants trying to get into Europe.
Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri said Tuesday that Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war have the right to asylum in EU nations, making a Syrian passport very attractive. He told France’s Europe 1 radio the situation is also “extremely lucrative for criminal organizations.”
He said those who purchase a fake Syrian passport are Arabic speaking, making them credible, but usually have a “profile of an economic immigrant” who, under European rules, would not receive asylum.
The fifth suspect in the deaths of 71 migrants found in a truck on the highway to Vienna last week has been placed under preliminary arrest for up to 30 days.
The court in the central Hungarian city of Kecskemet made …Read More