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August 18, 2018
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Austrian Interior Minister: Countries that reject refugee redistribution should lose EU money

31.8.2015 20:04
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO:  Repro video
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO: Repro video

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said today she is in favor of increasing the pressure on EU Member States that disagree with a fair redistribution of refugees among the EU-28. In an interview for ZDF, German public television, she said she would cut off financial aid to such countries if she could.

"There is a need here for all 28 Member States to bear responsibility," the minister emphasized. In her view, there is now a need to consider whether to halt financing for those countries that are not demonstrating solidarity.

One option is for "entitlements to be reduced if there is no responsibility taken for solidarity," she said. "The high number of migrants is an existential challenge to the EU."

"Either Europe will be shipwrecked by this problem with the refugees, or the union will come through it even stronger, namely, thanks to the fair redistribution of refugees," Mikl-Leitner said. She also criticized the building of the fence that Hungary has now undertaken on the border with Serbia in an effort to halt the wave of migrants.

"To rely on a fence deterring refugees is illusory," the minister said. Yesterday the Interior Ministers of Britain, France and Germany all pointed out the urgency of the situation, demanding that the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU convene an extraordinary meeting of EU Interior and Justice Ministers on the migration crisis.

This meeting, according to those calling for it, should take place within the next two weeks. In a joint declaration, Theresa May, Bernard Cazeneuve and Thomas de Maizière urged the rapid creation of a list of so-called "safe countries of origin".  

Planned reception centers for refugees in Greece and Italy should be up and running by the end of the year. Such facilities should make it possible to determine which people are entitled to refugee status because their lives are in immediate danger in their home countries and which people are following economic aims by emigrating.

"We all agree that we must not waste any more time," the ministers emphasized. "The current situation requires immediate negotiations and solidarity within Europe."

ČTK, mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tomáš Ščuka: Romani people need competent representation first and foremost, not Romani representation at all costs

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Edita Stejskalová calls on Czech Govt to create the position of Commissioner for Romani Affairs

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Speaking yesterday at a demonstration in Prague, Edita Stejskalová, a civil society member of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, called for the Czech Government to immediately create the position of a Commissioner for Romani Affairs. "Romani people do not live in poverty and social exclusion by choice! Romani people are entitled to equal, fair treatment! Romani people do not want to live on the fringes of society! Romani people are demanding that EU institutions and their own Governments educate society to respect the rights of all citizens, and we ask the courts to thoroughly punish advocacy of political opinions based on theories of racial superiority! Romani people demand adequate protection of their lives and personalysecurity, as is guaranteed to all citizens! Romani people demand active, seriously-conceived participation from the national to the international level in decision-making processes," she called on the authorities in a speech that news server is publishing in full translation below.
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Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community: Žilina is a textbook example of hate crime

27.7.2018 8:12
The recent attack on Romani people in Žilina, Slovakia, one of whom is hospitlaized with a brain hemorrhage, is a textbook example of hate crime according to the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community, Ábel Ravasz (a member of the Most-Híd party), and should be prosecuted as one. The chair of the Romani Union civic association in Slovakia (ÚRS), František Tanko, says Romani people abroad and in Slovakia are outraged by the racist crime and have announced a protest march in Žilina.
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