— The Erimtan Angle —

‘Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad gave an interview with RT’s Lizzie Phelan and Sargon Hadaya and other Russian journalists in Damascus, on Tuesday. Published on Sep 15, 2015’.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ‘German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday [, 15 September] called for a special EU refugee summit, urging unity after an angry reaction to a suggestion by one of her ministers that states that did not take in their share of asylum seekers could face financial penalties. The proposal by interior minister Thomas de Maiziere was forcefully rejected by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which are among eastern European states that have resisted European Union plans to share out refugees. Merkel later took a more conciliatory tone, calling for Europe to come together on the refugee issue . . . Facing opposition from ex-Communist states, EU ministers failed on Monday [, 14 September] to break a deadlock over sharing responsibility for accepting some of the hundreds of thousands who have sought asylum in Europe. De Maiziere said the EU was still some way from agreeing long-term quotas for refugees. “So I think we must talk about ways of exerting pressure,” he told ZDF television, adding that some of the countries that opposed quotas were the beneficiaries of structural funds — EU money allocated to help poorer regions catch up with wealthier areas. A senior Czech official said threats to cut such funding had no basis in law. “German threats that central Europe will be punished by cutting cohesion funds are empty but very damaging to all,” Tomas Prouza, the Czech State Secretary for the EU, said’.[1]

Barbara Tasch and Mike Nudelman write that “m]ore than 150,000 refugees entered the European Union in August [2015], increasing the total to more than half a million for the year, the European Union border agency announced. Though the number of refugees entering Europe had steadily increased over the past 10 months, European leaders were slow to respond, leading to what the EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos called the worst refugee crisis facing Europe since World War II . . . The distribution of refugees among the members of the 28-member EU has been far from equal. Most refugees are trying to reach rich countries with generous immigration policies like Sweden and Germany, and many Eastern European countries are refusing to take in any refugees. Most try to reach the Schengen area, 26 countries that have abolished border control and allowed free movement of people and goods”.[2]

[1] “Merkel Calls for European Unity, Summit on Refugee Crisis” Reuters (16 Sep 2015). http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/europes-border-crisis/merkel-calls-european-unity-summit-refugee-crisis-n427986.

[2] Barbara Tasch and Mike Nudelman, “This map shows the routes of Europe’s refugee nightmare — and how it’s getting worse” Business Insider (15 Sep 2015). http://www.businessinsider.com/map-of-europe-refugee-crisis-2015-9.


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