The demonstrators braved the January cold in the Dutch capital, marching in mini-skirts, accompanied by female protesters, too.
One of the demonstrators held a banner that read: “Sexual abuse is not a women's problem.”
“Too often sexual violence against women is put down as a [woman’s] problem: don’t wear short skirts. That is never the solution. Short skirts are not at fault,” rally organizers wrote on the event’s FB page.
“Therefore we are reversing the [roles] and we celebrate the skirt and the freedom that goes with it. We deploy our hairy knees for a free society in which women can walk the streets undisturbed, day and night, on short-skirt day or in the middle of the winter.”
The event’s FB page says 399 people registered to take part in the protest.
Over 500 complaints were received by the police in Cologne and other German cities in the wake of the New Year’s celebrations, and about 40 percent of all complaints received are linked to sex offenses.
Some 1,000 men gathered near the train station, and groups described as migrants attacked women, groping and robbing them.
Currently, police state that some of the attackers were men of “Arab of North African origin,” and 19 suspects were detained.
The reports triggered a wave of anti-refugee demonstrations all over Germany, with protesters criticizing Merkel’s open-door policy.
Two weeks into 2016, Merkel’s party urged for a tougher immigration regime: the secretary-general of the CDU party called on the country’s security forces to start deporting 1,000 asylum seekers, denying them refuge.
Vienna is radically changing its policy towards migrants and refugees, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told local media. Faymann said that with the new measures introduced at Austria’s borders, the existence of “the whole EU is in question.”
“All refugees must be controlled, economic migrants must be sent to the countries of their origin,” Faymann said in an interview with Austria’s Oesterreich newspaper, to be published on Sunday.
The government is implementing a strict monitoring system for asylum seekers, the chancellor said, adding that, just like in neighboring Germany, its border controls are being tightened, and repatriations of refugees are carried out.
“Anyone who arrives at our border is subject to control,” Faymann said. A valid identity card will now have to be provided to authorities, and those who do not have a right to asylum or have been already rejected by Germany will be denied entry, as will those who don’t intend to apply for refugee status in Austria.
Consequently, the Schengen agreement on open borders is “temporarily cancelled” in Austria, the chancellor said.
“If the EU does not manage to secure the external borders, Schengen as a whole is put into question...Then each country must control its national borders,” Faymann told the newspaper, adding that if the bloc’s external borders are not secured in the near future, “the whole EU [will be] in question.”
“So far, the Schengen agreement does make provision for what they call exceptional measures. So this doesn’t mean that de jure there is yet a complete collapse of the Schengen. What it does mean is that we are seeing the beginning of a de facto collapse,” William Mallinson, a writer and former British diplomat told RT. “If this continues, Schengen will actually die,” he added.
The new regulations issued by the Austrian Defense Ministry came into effect on Saturday, with the army being deployed at the borders to stop refugees who intend to simply transit through the country and not apply for asylum there.
Over 3,000 migrants that arrived under false identities have already been sent back since the beginning of the year, border officials reported.
“It’s big business and what hasn’t yet been ascertained is who is running this show. A lot of [fake documents] are quite well produced, which means certain groups are actually making a lot of money and causing a lot of problems,” Mallinson said, adding that “it’s very difficult to distinguish between genuine refugees and those – and there are many of them – who are jumping on the bandwagon and coming in [to Europe].”
Earlier on Friday, the policy of free movement within the European Union was questioned by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble. Europe’s open borders might be “close” to an end, the minister said after a meeting of the EU’s finance ministers in Brussels. The Schengen system could soon collapse, with more of the bloc’s 28 member states introducing internal border checks, the German official told reporters.
|© Ognen Teofilovski / Reuters|
So far, Europe has witnessed only the beginning of the refugee and migrant tide, as “only 10 percent of refugee wave coming from Syria and Iraq have reached” Europe, with even more people expected to arrive from Africa, Muller said in an interview to Germany's Bild am Sonntag.
“The biggest refugee inflow is still ahead: African population will double in the next decades with the population of… Egypt reaching 100 million and Nigeria’s population reaching 400 million,” Muller told the Sunday newspaper.
The minister also insisted that the process of refugee inflow is largely irreversible as “in our digital era, with internet and mobile phones, everyone is well aware about our [European] wealth and lifestyle,” adding that the world needs “an absolutely new pattern of international cooperation.”
“We cannot just build fences around Germany and Europe. When people suffer, they will come,” Muller said, adding that “it does not matter what we decide here. These people will not ask us if they may come.”
In the interview, the minister outlined a new “Marshall Plan” costing €10 billion that envisages the creation of an “all-European reconstruction fund” to finance the rebuilding of settlements in war-torn Syria and Iraq. He stressed that states that do not accept refugees should more actively participate in this project and should not try to avoid paying their share.
At the same time, the minister asserted that Europe should invest in education, integration and the future of the refugees who have already reached Europe. He also said the first priority was to reduce the inflow of refugees into Europe, as “8-10 million people are on their way [to Europe].”
Muller also warned that Turkey has reached its maximum capacity to accept refugees and requires help, urging “the EU states to fulfill their promise” as the pledged “aid amounting to €3 billion is still not available.”
The European Commission has lost authority because of the refugee crisis, Muller said.
“The protection of external borders is not working. Schengen has collapsed. A fair distribution of refugees has not taken place,” he said.
Commenting on the cap on the number of refugees demanded by Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, Muller said that the country needs a reduction because, “if [Germany] receives another million [refugees] like last year, it will not be able to successfully integrate them.”
No kidding, it's not able to successfully integrate the million they got last year.
Muller’s statements concerning the potential number of new arrivals to Europe partly reiterated the comments of Heinz Buschkowsky, a German MP from the Social Democratic Party, who also predicted that the total number of refugees and migrants coming to Germany by 2020 could reach up to 10 million.
The absurdity of all this is that almost all the migrants are Muslims fleeing Muslim countries because their economies don't work and they are mostly in a constant state of war. So they come to 'Christian' Europe where there is peace and prosperity, but they bring the poison of Islam with them. Their presence will quickly ensure that Europe's peace and prosperity will soon disappear.
On Saturday, the German Interior Ministry said that it expects another 1 million refugees to enter Europe from Turkey, adding that Turkey will be able to host only about one-fifth of them.
This prediction came from the German Parliamentary State Secretary for the Interior Ministry, Ole Schroeder, during a meeting with his counterparts from Sweden and Denmark, as well as EU Commissioner for Migration, Der Spiegel reports.
In his speech, Schroeder also criticized the European Commission, saying that “the measures [implemented by the Commission] so far have no impact [on the situation] as the numbers of [refugees arriving to Europe] are not decreasing with averagely about 40,000 people coming from Turkey to Greece every day.”
According to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a total of 1.1 million refugees were registered in Germany in 2015 – 428,500 of them from Syria. De Maiziere added that the number of refugees coming from Morocco and Algeria has also significantly increased recently, as reported by Der Spiegel.
Germany to make deporting refugees easier
German authorities are going to make it easier to deport foreign criminals, including asylum seekers, by lifting some of the restrictions impeding the process, De Maiziere said Tuesday.
“With this proposal, we are significantly lowering the hurdles for the possible expulsion of foreigners who have committed crimes in Germany,” he told German TV channel N24 during a joint address with the Justice Minister, Heiko Maas.
The new measure will affect foreigners convicted of specific crimes in Germany, including homicide, bodily harm, sexual assault, violent theft and serial shoplifting. Youth sentences are also covered by the new measure.
A sentence of one year will now be a “significant reason” for deportation, while earlier only refugees sentenced to three or more years could be deported, De Maiziere said.
“That’s a hard but right response by the state to those who are seeking protection here, but think they can commit crimes” without consequences for their right to remain in Germany, he added.
However, Maas, the justice minister, said that some measures were necessary to “protect the overwhelming majority of innocent refugees in Germany. They don’t deserve to be lumped together with criminal foreigners,” AP reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday at a news briefing that the laws easing the deportation process, which were initiated by the justice and interior ministers, should “come into force as soon as possible.”
The initiative came following a series of sexual assaults that took place on New Year’s Eve in a number of European countries. The largest number of assaults was recorded in Cologne, where 516 criminal cases have been filed with the Cologne police, who say they include two cases of rape.