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Refugee crisis: European divisions deepen over moves to tighten borders

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Refugee crisis: European divisions deepen over moves to tighten borders


The asylum seekers keep coming and Europe keeps arguing over what to do.

Seeking to stem the flow across the continent, central and eastern European leaders on Monday are debating plans to help tighten border security in the Balkans.

But Germany, which has borne the brunt of the influx, objects, amid warnings that any closure of borders into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria would simply strand migrants arriving in Greece.

The UN’s refugee agency is also concerned about moves to tighten Europe’s borders.

The UNHCR says it recognises “the challenges some European countries are facing due to significant arrivals of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Clearly States have a sovereign right to manage their borders; however, this must be done in accordance with national, EU and international law. The possible damaging impact of individual measures and practices on the rights and lives of refugees has to be considered.”

Debt-laded Greece is already overwhelmed by the migration crisis and facing an EU ultimatum to gets its house in order.

Improving registration is one of the key demands but plans for a refugee reception centre on the Greek island of Kos have sparked protests by locals.

In the latest rally on Sunday, some 2,000 people gathered for what turned into an angry confrontation with police.

Many on Kos fear a so-called migrant “hotspot” would hurt tourism, the island’s main source of income.

Greece says that four other registration centres will open this week, ahead of an EU summit.

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