The Latest: Official: Half of Calais camp to be evacuated

AP News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2016 12:26 PM
The Latest: Official: Half of Calais camp to be evacuated

SID, Serbia (AP) — The Latest on the influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

The top official in France's northern Pas-de-Calais region says that half of a sprawling makeshift migrant camp will be evacuated.

Prefect Fabienne Buccio says state authorities will visit on Monday to advise those living in tents and lean-tos that they must leave.

She told reporters on Friday that 800 to 1,000 migrants will have to leave their dwellings in the camp on the edge of Calais which now has shops, mosques, churches and schools built by migrants and volunteers.

Refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries or dictatorships make their way to northern France in order to try to sneak across the Channel to Britain.

Buccio said her agents will explain to migrants "what we expect" of them — to choose to live in heated containers set up last month on the edge of the camp that can hold 1,500 or agree to be sent to centers around France.

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3:10 p.m.

Austria 's foreign minister says the country has nearly reached the maximum number of refugees it proposes to accept this year, and will then proceed to close its borders to all migrants.

Sebastian Kurz says he expects the limit of 37,500 refugees to be reached "within a month."

After that, Austria will stop refugees at its border, he said Friday.

Speaking during a visit to Macedonia, Kurz conceded that the move will "surely have an impact" on countries further south in the Balkans, which refugees and economic migrants traverse to reach wealthy European countries.

Kurz said Macedonia must also be ready to close its border with Greece to migrants — who reach Greece in hundreds of thousands by boat from Turkey — and he offered police and military assistance to Macedonia.

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2:45 p.m.

U.S. Senator John McCain has called for additional assistance to countries along the Balkan migrant corridor and expressed hope of ending the wars in Syria and Afghanistan fueling the refugee crisis.

Republican Sen. McCain of Arizona traveled with a U.S. Congress delegation to a Serbian border town on Friday where thousands of refugees pass daily on their way toward Western Europe.

McCain has praised the Serbian government for doing "an excellent job in difficult circumstances." He says more U.S. help is needed, describing the refugee crisis as "very expensive."

McCain added, "We also will do everything we can to bring about peace in the Middle East to stop the wanton killing causing this enormous humanitarian problem that is spreading all through Europe and eventually to the United States."