Saturday 10 December 2016

EU chief calls traffickers 'murderers' who must be stopped

Carol Kinkaid

Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30

Hungarian police stopping refugees in Roszke, Hungary
Hungarian police stopping refugees in Roszke, Hungary

European Union President Donald Tusk says the massive influx of refugees to Europe is a sign of more to come.

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"We are fully aware that this huge crisis is not an incident, this is something like a beginning of (an) exodus and this is why we have to do everything we can, and of course together," he said at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem yesterday.

"I want to say that Europe is focused for rescuing people's lives. This is the most important goal for us, and as a consequence of this point of view, it is also our fight against human traffickers and smugglers. In fact, we can today talk about murderers, because they are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people."

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency says humanitarian aid needs to be stepped up at the border between Hungary and Serbia.

Thousands of people have been streaming across the border at Roszke daily, with conditions worsening and scuffles breaking out between migrants and police.

A spokesman said the global body was concerned about the lack of proper reception facilities for the migrants.

Babar Baloch said: "The border police are not trained to deal with the refugees."

He said: "When people come in you need to receive them properly.

"There are women and children and they are just kept in the open. Temperatures are going down as well, so we need to have a system where these people receive proper care."

Yesterday, France announced a €10m emergency fund for housing, health and education for refugees trying to escape the war in Syria and Iraq.

The fund also includes another €15m intended to help Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq deal with the millions of people displaced by war.

The announcement came at the conclusion of an international conference intended to address the victims of violence in the Middle East.

Irish Independent

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