World View: Hungary and Austria in Disagreement over Migrants

AP Photo
The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Hungary and Austria in disagreement over migrants
  • Britain and France face migrant crisis in port of Calais
  • Palestinians to submit war crimes charges against Israel to ICC

Hungary and Austria in disagreement over migrants

A group of Afghans rest after crossing illegally from Serbia into Hungary near the village of Asotthalom, Hungary (Reuters)
A group of Afghans rest after crossing illegally from Serbia into Hungary near the village of Asotthalom, Hungary (Reuters)

With migrants from Africa and Syria flooding into Europe, disagreements are arising among the European Union countries on dealing with them.

In the case of Hungary, prime minister Viktor Orbán, who is personally disliked by other EU leaders, has said that the country is being overwhelmed by migrants, with more than 60,000 having crossed in Hungary from outside the EU since the start of 2015, which is more than any other EU country. Most of the migrants have crossed into Hungary from Serbia, which is not an EU country.

In the last week, Orbán has announced three measures to control the number of migrants in Hungary:

  • The government is setting aside $23.5 million to build a temporary security fence along Hungary’s entire border with Serbia. The fence will be 4 meters high and 175 km long. Although EU officials in Brussels have condemned this plan, it is apparently not illegal under EU rules.
  • Hungary will stop processing asylum seekers registered in Hungary, which is a violation of EU regulations. Asylum seekers may travel freely within the EU but must rely on the country they first entered to process their paperwork. After strong condemnation from other EU leaders, Orbán backed down a bit, saying that the processing of asylum seekers was being merely suspended, because of a large backlog, but not stopped entirely.
  • Hungary announced that it would no longer take in asylum seekers sent by other EU states. This has infuriated other EU countries, particularly Austria, which threatened in retaliation to re-introduce border controls on its border with Hungary. This means that there would be passport checks on the Austrian-Hungarian border, which ended with the Schengen agreement nearly 10 years ago.

VOA and International Business Times (London) and SpyGhana

Britain and France face migrant crisis in port of Calais

That is not the only current conflict between EU countries over the migrant crisis. France and Britain have been pointing the fingers of blame at each other over a major crisis in the French port of Calais, which is the location of the entrance to the Channel Tunnel that connects France to Britain.

There has been a flood of migrants into Calais, wanting to reach Britain to take advantage of the generous benefits. Migrants have been burning tires and using other methods to slow the trucks trying to travel to Britain, and then jumping into the trucks while they are stopped, hoping that they will not be detected until they reach Britain.

One 20-year-old migrant was quoted as saying:

My future would be better if I get to England. I need to get to England. I came here via Turkey and Greece and now I’m living in the jungle in Calais. The situation here is very bad.

But life in Syria was worse. Our homes were destroyed and our government used chemical weapons against us. I need a better life in England and I will do whatever it takes.

Some officials are expressing the fear that jihadists and terrorists would hide in the crowd of migrants in Calais, and use the chaos to travel to the UK. Telegraph (London)

Palestinians to submit war crimes charges against Israel to ICC

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday will submit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague files describing alleged war crimes by Israel.

According to reports, there will be charges in three areas:

  • Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • The treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
  • Last summer’s Israeli vs Hamas war in Gaza.

With regard to the third item, we reported last year in July, while the war was in progress, that Palestinian lawyers are saying that they are on solid grounds in some areas, but that Hamas would face war crimes charges themselves, for shooting rockets indiscriminately into Israel from heavily populated Gaza neighborhoods, and for storing weapons in civilian neighborhoods. Both of these are war crimes.

Although the accusations will be embarrassing to Israel, they’re not expected to have any legal force, and any investigation that occurs will likely not begin for many months. Reuters and YNet and Guardian (London)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, European Union, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Afghanistan, Syria, Viktor Orbán, Britain, France, Calais, Palestinian Authority, International Criminal Court, ICC, Israel, Gaza, Hamas
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