Greek Parents’ Group Seeks to Bar Refugee Children From School
A parents’ group in Greece said they will occupy a school if refugee children are allowed to study there. The move has provoked criticism from other Greeks online.
The parents’ association of Oraiokastro, a suburb of Thessaloniki, made a unanimous decision to reject the “entry or placement” of refugee children at their local school.
“If this is not the case we will proceed to occupy the school building,” the parents warned.
Greece, which is holding 60,000 refugees and migrants, is scrambling to matriculate thousands of refugee children into its school system.
When the parents’ letter was published it drew anger from other Greeks. “These people are raising children,” said Stavris Lefkeditis, a businessman from Patras. “They’re teaching them to hate and they want the school to teach them hate, too.”
Meanwhile Odysseas Voudouris, an official at the interior ministry charged with working for refugees, resigned on September 13, accusing the government of mismanaging the reception of refugees.
After his resignation, he hinted at mismanagement of funds, saying, “Norway spends 12,000 euros a year for each refugee and Greece spends 15,000.”
E.U. Promises Border Agents for Bulgaria
The head of the European Union’s executive has promised 200 agents for Bulgaria’s border. Jean-Claude Juncker said the extra staff will be part of an expanded border agency.
“The member states and the institutions must work closely to set up 200 border guards and 50 vehicles at the Bulgarian border,” he said. “We would like to implement this by the end of the year.”
The commitment came as part of a speech to mark his first year in office that is compared with the U.S. State of the Union address. In the speech he addressed anti-migration sentiment, nationalism and populism.
“Europe is not going down the path of nationalism … often fragmentation exists where we need further effort from the union, and that is leaving room for galloping populism.
“We can’t accept that, because populism doesn’t solve problems. Populism creates problems, and we have to be aware of that and protect ourselves against it.”
Obama Plans to Resettle More Refugees in the U.S.
The Obama administration plans to increase the number of refugees it admits. The move from the outgoing president would see numbers increase by nearly one-third.
An annual refugee report submitted to Congress called for a 30 percent increase in refugees admitted, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The new target of 110,000 in the 2017 fiscal year starting in October is a rise from 85,000 in 2016. It was introduced by secretary of state John Kerry during a closed session to members of the House and Senate judiciary committees on September 13.
Kerry has committed the United States to admitting at least 100,000 refugees in fiscal 2017 and said it would admit more if able.
- The Elders: Hailing Germany’s Engagement on Refugee and Migration Issues
- IOM (video): A World on the Move – Youth Empowerment and Integration
- The Guardian: Why Does Resettling a Refugee Cost £17,000 in the U.S. – but £85,000 in Britain?
- The Huffington Post: New Teachers for Refugee Kids Are a Bright Spot in Greece’s Troubled Education System