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Executive Summary for April 11th

We review the latest developments related to refugee issues, including ongoing clashes between Macedonian police and refugees at Idomeni, projected E.U. refugee resettlement numbers and a report that almost 6,000 refugee minors went missing in Germany in 2015

Published on April 11, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Macedonian Police Fire Tear Gas as Fresh Clashes Erupt at Idomeni

Hundreds of refugees attempted to break through a border fence on Sunday at the makeshift Idomeni camp on the Greece-Macedonia border, according to the New York Times.

Macedonian police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to push back the group, the newspaper said.

Greek government spokesman Giorgos Kyritsis condemned the Macedonian authorities’ reaction as “a dangerous and deplorable act”, the BBC reported.

Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres – MSF) said they treated more than 300 people at Idomeni on Sunday, 200 of whom had suffered respiratory problems after exposure to tear gas. Three children under the age of 10 also received plastic bullet head wounds, the group said. MSF added that fresh protests were also underway on Monday.

The clashes are the latest in a string of increasingly frequent uprisings by refugees stuck at Idomeni, after Macedonian authorities sealed the Balkan route. At least 11,500 refugees remain at Idomeni, where conditions have become increasingly harsh in recent weeks.

Greek authorities have said they plan to empty Idomeni within the next few weeks, moving refugees to official camps set up nearby. But many continue to hold tight to hopes that the Macedonian border will reopen, with some voicing concern about moving to military-style camps.

Europe Could Receive 250,000 Refugees Under E.U.–Ankara Deal

Europe could receive about 250,000 Syrian refugees a year as part of the deal between the E.U. and Turkey, according to the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

In an interview with the newspaper, Gerald Knaus of the European Stability Initiative noted that “the Turkish side expects the Europeans to begin taking about 250,000 Syrians a year in a few weeks or so”.

The figure appears to have been agreed verbally, Breitbart News reported, adding that the refugees are expected to be distributed “fairly” within Europe.

But as Britain’s the Express newspaper reports, some countries – including the U.K. and Eastern European countries – are likely to prove more reluctant to receive high numbers of refugees than others.

Report: Almost 6,000 Refugee Minors Went Missing in Germany Last Year

A total of 5,835 refugee minors went missing in Germany in 2015, according to a report published by the German news organization Funke Mediengruppe, circulated by Deutsche Welle.

The figure includes 555 refugee children under the age of 14, who vanished after setting foot in Germany.

The report comes after Europe’s criminal intelligence agency estimated that 10,000 unaccompanied refugee minors have gone missing in Europe.

Earlier this month, the refugee aid organization Help Refugees UK said that at least 129 children were unaccounted for after French demolition teams destroyed the southern side of the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp. There are still 294 unaccompanied minors at the ‘Jungle’ camp, the Independent reports; the youngest is eight years old.

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Top image: A group of migrant men attempt to tear apart the fence during a protest at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni on Sunday, April 10, 2016. Thousands of migrants protested at the border and clashed with Macedonian police. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

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