The Latest: 4 Central Europe PMs call for Plan B on migrants

AP News
Posted: Feb 15, 2016 2:08 PM
The Latest: 4 Central Europe PMs call for Plan B on migrants

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

9:05 p.m.

The prime ministers of four Central European countries say the EU needs an alternative plan in the case the current measures fail to manage the influx of migrants.

The "plan B" is meant to be adopted if Greece is not able to protect the outer border of the EU's visa free Schengen zone and the deal of the EU with Turkey does not result in substantially reducing the number of migrants.

It is meant to create a new barrier on Greece's borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria. It is controversial because it effectively eliminates Greece from the Schengen zone but the leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia insist it not against any EU country.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and Bulgarian Premier Boiko Borisov were present at Prague's meeting.


7:35 p.m.

Austria is expanding the list of safe nations for would-be asylum seekers as it tries to stem the influx of migrants.

The Interior Ministry says that Algeria, Georgia, Ghana, Morocco, Mongolia and Tunisia are being added to a list that already includes Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania.

The applications of those seeking asylum from the list of nations can be decided on within 10 days, as opposed to the months it now takes for those from Syria and other war-torn countries.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner linked Monday's move to attempts to reduce arrivals of those who have left their countries for economic reasons. She said there is a need for "clear signals that there is no protection for them in Austria."


5:55 p.m.

Norwegian police say a vigilante group calling itself the Soldiers of Odin has made a first appearance in the Scandinavian country amid an influx of migrants.

Vestfold Police spokesman Torgny Alstad says about a dozen men dressed in black jackets, adorned with a Viking helmet and the group's name, patrolled the streets of Tonsberg near Norway's capital on Saturday night. He said Monday that officers watched the group but that no incidents were reported.

The Soldiers of Odin, who derive their name from a Norse god, was founded last year in Finland where it regularly conducts street patrols. The group says it's protecting residents from a perceived threat posed by migrants. The group claims about 600 members in Finland with groups in Britain, the U.S., Estonia, Germany and Sweden.