ISLAMIC TSUNAMI: EU says world facing ‘worst refugee crisis’ since WWII
$2.6 billion of funding was approved to help EU member states cope with flow of migrants
The EU said Friday that Greece will receive further emergency funding to tackle a surge in migrant arrivals as the world faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
“Today the world finds itself facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference.
Avramopoulos, speaking after a trip to Athens on Thursday, said Europe as a whole was struggling with a surge in migrants, with the situation in Greece “particularly urgent” as almost 50,000 people arrived there last month.
“What we must do and the (European) Commission has done it, is to organise our system in order to face this problem in a decent, civilised and European way,” he added.
The UN refugee agency said the number of people driven from their homes by conflict and crisis has topped 50 million for the first time since World War II, with Syrians hardest hit.
Some 124,000 refugees and migrants landed on the Greek islands during the first seven months of the year — up 750 percent from 2014, according to UN figures.
The International Organization for Migration said Turkish efforts to stop traffickers from sending large “ghost ships” crammed with migrants towards Italy has sparked the surge in arrivals in Greece.
The Commission is committed to “redoubling our efforts to cooperate with Turkey on border management,” Avramopoulos said.
“Very soon I will be visiting Turkey,” he added.
Asylum seeker found in plane hold at Stockholm airport
An Ethiopian asylum seeker who stowed away aboard a flight from Addis Ababa to Sweden was found safe and sound Friday in the plane’s hold at Stockholm airport.
“The baggage handlers discovered him and alerted us this morning. We were afraid he was suffering from hypothermia… but he was doing fine,” police spokesman Stefan Fardigs told AFP.
The man took advantage of his job at Addis Ababa airport to smuggle himself aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight. He was still wearing his work ID card when he was found.
Europe is struggling to deal with a flood of migrants — many fleeing conflict and poverty — who have turned up after risky boat and overland journeys in hopes of obtaining asylum or seeking a better life.
The Ethiopian man, in his mid-20s, told police he wanted asylum and was taken to meet with immigration authorities.
Sweden was second only to Germany as the top recipient of refugees in the 28-nation European Union last year.
In 2014, it granted asylum to 35,000 people out 81,000 who had asked for its protection.
Asylum applications from Ethiopians have boomed in the first seven months of 2015, shooting up by 140 percent over the same period last year.
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