The Latest: France's Le Pen criticizes EU refugee approach

AP News
Posted: Apr 16, 2016 11:43 AM
The Latest: France's Le Pen criticizes EU refugee approach

MADRID (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migration crisis (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

France's Marine Le Pen and other far-right politicians have criticized the European Union for its approach to Europe's migration crisis.

Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, says a recent agreement between the EU and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants was "a catastrophe" for Europe. Speaking Saturday in Romania, Le Pen claimed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had given into to all demands made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The EU plans to send back some migrants to Turkey in exchange for taking some Syrian migrants now in Turkey.

Le Pen also criticized what she called "radical Islamism," a recurring theme at the "Our Europe, a Europe of Nations," conference in the Romanian mountain resort of Sinaia.


6:10 p.m.

A Syrian refugee who has made it to Germany is back in Greece trying to get his family out of a makeshift refugee camp.

Bassel Al-Khalaf, 25, has been living in Germany for a year and a half. But for the last six days he has been staying in a tent at the refugee camp in the northern Greek border town of Idomeni, reunited with his wife, Hannaa Al-Ahmad, 24, and his 1-year-old daughter, Sahinas.

He says "I came to try and take them with me .... but I've been told reunions take a long time." Al-Khalaf plans to go to the German Embassy in Athens, having collected the necessary paperwork.

His wife and daughter had made it as far as Macedonia before a series of European nations shut their borders to migrants in March. Macedonian authorities pushed them back to Greece.


3:40 p.m.

Spain's maritime rescue service says it has deployed ships and aircraft in a search for a boat believed to be carrying 27 people in the southern Mediterranean Sea.

The service said a Spanish Navy ship joined in the search Saturday for the boat that is thought to be transporting migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.

Rescuers on Friday picked up 76 migrants, including 22 who had disembarked from a boat onto a small Mediterranean island and 54 who had been aboard a small boat.

Thousands of migrants try to reach Spain each year either by attempting to enter the country's north African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta or by making perilous sea crossings to the mainland.