LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) – A tide of refugees from the Middle East and Asia showed no sign of abating on Thursday, after European Union leaders began the task of trying to prevent tens of thousands of people fleeing war or poverty from streaming unchecked through the continent.
After weeks of recrimination and buck-passing, a summit on Wednesday produced a glimmer of political unity on measures to help the refugees closer to home, or at least register their asylum requests as soon as they enter the EU.
LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) – More than 3,000 mainly Syrian and Afghan refugees, soaked and exhausted, reached the Greek island of Lesbos within hours on Wednesday, a sharp rise in the rate of arrivals via the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey.
They were the latest wave of at least 430,000 refugees and migrants, a record number, to have taken rickety boats across the Mediterranean to Europe this year, 309,000 via Greece, according to International Organization for Migration figures.
IDOMENI, Greece (Reuters) – Thousands of refugees trudged through mud and torrential rain to Greece’s border with Macedonia on Thursday, swelling a human tide across Europe that authorities appear powerless to control.
Hungary, a key transit country for migrants trying to reach richer and more welcoming countries such as Germany and Sweden, said it expected to finish building a fence along its border with Serbia by early October to help stem the flow.
IDOMENI, Greece, Aug 22 (Reuters) – After a brief respite
aboard a Greek passenger ship, Syrian refugee Mohamed has found
himself stranded on a filthy, chaotic strip at the Macedonian
border, his way to the relative security of northern Europe
blocked by razor wire and riot police.
The 20-year-old geology student, like thousands of others
stuck at the Greek frontier village of Idomeni, has made an
arduous and often dangerous journey to escape the horrors of the
Syrian civil war.
GEVGELIJA, Macedonia, IDOMENI, Greece (Reuters) – Crowds of migrants and refugees were building on Greece’s border with Macedonia on Saturday after a cold, wet night spent in the open, their entry slowly rationed by Macedonian police and soldiers.
Most of them Syrian refugees, the crowd of several thousand shouted “Help us!” at lines of riot police behind razor wire, stationed on the border since Thursday when Macedonia declared a state of emergency and sealed the frontier.
KOS, Greece (Reuters) – Greek police used fire extinguishers and batons against migrants on the island of Kos on Tuesday after violence broke out in a sports stadium where hundreds of people, including young children, were waiting for immigration papers.
The scuffles took place a day after a police officer on the island was suspended for brandishing a knife and slapping a man identified by Greek media as a Pakistani migrant.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Forest fires fanned by strong winds and high temperatures broke out around Athens and in other parts of southern Greece on Friday, sending residents fleeing from flames threatening their homes.
Summer wildfires, though common for the season, heaped additional misery on the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which is struggling to obtain a new bailout from foreign creditors.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Dozens of Athens residents fled their homes on Friday as wildfires fanned by strong winds and high temperatures burned through woodland around the Greek capital, sending clouds of smoke billowing over the city.
More than 80 firefighters with 18 fire engines and three aircraft battled the flames, which a Reuters photographer said were threatening homes.
PATRAS, Greece, May 6 (Reuters) – Rapper Mahdi Babika
Mohamed’s journey to a better life in Europe started in his
native Sudan and passed through Libya and Turkey before abruptly
ending in a squalid abandoned factory at Greece’s western port
There, the 37-year-old is one of hundreds of migrants making
desperate attempts to board ferries to Italy by hanging on to
the underside of cargo trucks – usually unsuccesfully.
KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine launched air strikes and a paratrooper assault against pro-Russian rebels who seized an airport on Monday, as its newly elected leader rejected any talks with “terrorists” and said a robust military campaign in the east should be able to put down a separatist revolt in “a matter of hours”.
Ukrainians rallied overwhelmingly in an election on Sunday behind Petro Poroshenko, a political veteran and billionaire owner of chocolate factories, hoping the burly 48-year-old can rescue the nation from the brink of bankruptcy, civil war and dismemberment by its former Soviet masters in the Kremlin.