Political News

The Latest: EU official: UN sanctions for migrant smugglers

Posted July 7

— The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

European Council President Donald Tusk is calling for United Nations sanctions against migrant smugglers illegally taking people from Africa and the Middle East to Europe.

Tusk said the sanctions could include asset freezes and travel bans. He said smuggling was a lucrative business that enabled smugglers to control parts of Libya.

Tusk said that he would urge members of the Group of 20 countries meeting in Hamburg, Germany, to seek sanctions, but said that "we do not have support" for the measure and referred to the "hypocrisy" of some member states.

Tusk called for countries to be "ruthless" against smuggling for humanitarian reasons since thousands of people have died in desert crossings and in the Mediterranean Sea.

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10:25 a.m.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz says would-be migrants from outside Europe should be stopped at the EU's outer borders and sent back to their homelands after being rescued and given any care needed.

Kurz cites Egypt as an example of how such a plan works, adding that Spain and Australia have applied it successfully.

He says that aid to countries of origin and a resettlement program setting up regulated immigration to Europe would be part of any such program.

Kurz has previously suggested that some NGOs rescuing migrants on the high seas might be in collusion with human smugglers. He called late Thursday for an NGO code of conduct, without going into details.

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8:40 a.m.

Paris authorities are evacuating some 1,500 migrants from a makeshift street camp as Europe faces an upsurge in new arrivals.

City Hall says the migrants camped in the La Chapelle neighborhood are being taken to temporary shelters in the Paris region. It is the 34th such operation in the past two years.

City authorities estimate that dozens of people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Mideast pour in daily to the French capital. Many continue on to the port of Calais to try to cross illegally to Britain.

The Paris mayor is pressing the national government for a law enshrining more robust measures to accommodate the migrant flow.

A nearby center meant to help asylum-seekers is not large enough to house them all. Arrivals have grown this summer around Europe notably as more people are taking the risky sea journey from Libya.

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