Executive Summary for June 4th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including dozens of deaths in two Mediterranean shipwrecks, an anti-immigration party winning Slovenia’s election and French authorities closing down more informal camps in Paris.

Published on June 4, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Dozens Drown in Two Mediterranean Shipwrecks

Dozens of people seeking passage to Europe drowned in two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean over the weekend.

A boat packed with around 180 people sank off the eastern coast of Tunisia. The Tunisian coast guard rescued 61 Tunisians and seven other nationals from the waters. Officials said at least 48 other people are believed to have died.

Another boat taking 15 Syrian refugees to Europe went down off Turkey’s southern coast. Nine people, including six children, drowned after the boat sank.

A couple who survived the shipwreck lost their five children. “I have nothing now. I feel like I am dead. I lost everything. May Allah give us power [to survive],” the father, Idris, told Turkish press.

Nearly 33,300 people have taken boats to Europe this year, and 650 people have lost their lives in the attempt. While the sea routes from Turkey and Libya have dropped from the highs of 2015 and 2016, deadly journeys continue and routes are evolving, including a sharp rise in boats leaving Tunisia.

Anti-Immigration Party Wins Slovenia Election

The anti-immigration Slovenia Democratic Party (SDS) won parliamentary elections, but may struggle to form a government, analysts said.

The opposition SDS took 25 percent of the vote, making it the largest party in parliament. But several other parties uncomfortable with the SDS’ immigration policies are wary of entering a coalition government.

At the party’s convention last month, SDS leader Janez Jansa accused the “degenerate left“ of “inviting migrants from completely different civilizational backgrounds. We do not accept that.”

Hard-line Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, who sees an ally in the SDS for his opposition to European Union redistribution of refugees, came to the convention to show his support.

France Shuts Down More Camps in Paris

French police removed hundreds more people from makeshift tented camps in Paris a week after closing down the city’s largest informal site.

Police evacuated around 800 people, mostly Afghans, living beside Canal Saint-Martin before clearing another 400 people from the Porte de la Chapelle area.

Last week, authorities shut down the “Millennaire” camp in northeast Paris, which sheltered more than 1,000 people, after breaking a political impasse between the interior minister and Paris mayor over where to house people once the camps had been taken down. France has shrunk the number of spaces at its official shelters.

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