The Latest: Greek police arrest migrants over mugging death
Aug. 24, 2018
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migrant crisis (all times local):
Greek police say they have arrested three migrants allegedly responsible for a fatal mugging in which a man fell to his death from a cliff on a hill popular with tourists in central Athens earlier this month.
A police statement says two Pakistanis aged 17 and 28 were detained Thursday at Idomeni, on the border with Macedonia, which they were allegedly planning to cross illegally.
The third man, a 25-year-old Iraqi, was arrested in Athens.
The knifepoint mugging took place on the Hill of Philopappos, opposite the Acropolis, on Aug. 15. It is unclear whether the victim, a 25-year-old Greek studying oversees who was there with a Portuguese friend, was pushed off the cliff or fell trying to avoid the muggers.
Police have arrested several Pakistani men over violent robberies in the area.
Italy's foreign minister says paying EU contributions is a "legal duty," contradicting a populist leader's threat to drop them over the bloc's handling of Europe's migrant crisis.
Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi's assertion, made Friday, followed Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio's threat that Italy will no longer be willing to pay 20-billion euro ($23 billion) annually to the EU if member nations don't take rescued migrants from Italy.
Italy's anti-migrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has refused to let 150 migrants off an Italian coast guard ship docked in Catania, Sicily. He insists other EU members take the asylum-seekers, most of them from Eritrea. The coast guard rescued them in the Mediterranean on Aug. 16.
Moavero Milanesi says beyond the migrants' fate, migration issues can't be a matter of "the physical geography of our continent."
Spain is denying that its decision to send back to Morocco 116 migrants who entered the country illegally amounts to a change in migration policy.
Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said Friday that Spain activated a 1992 agreement with Rabat to expel the migrants.
She says they used "unacceptable" violence when they stormed fences separating Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco on Wednesday. Seven policemen were hurt.
Calvo says Spain will keep receiving migrants rescued in the Mediterranean in a "safe and humanitarian" manner.
Sub-Saharan Africans living illegally in Morocco often try to enter Europe by scaling fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's other North African enclave.
Migrant arrivals in Spain have spiked in recent months, placing strain on public services and putting political pressure on the government.
An Italian lawmaker says rescued migrants stuck aboard an Italian coast guard ship are starting a hunger strike.
Opposition Sen. Davide Faraone, who visited the migrants a day earlier on the Diciotti, tweeted on Friday that Catania port officials told him "there's tension" on the ship, and that migrants have stopped eating out of frustration the Italian government won't let them disembark.
Rescued on Aug. 16 in the Mediterranean Sea, 150 migrants are still on the ship after minors and the sick were allowed off in recent days.
Sky TG24 TV said some women aboard ate lunch Friday but the men refused the meal.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says other European Union nations must pledge to take the migrants before they can disembark.
Most of the migrants are Eritrean.
The European Union is warning Italy to refrain from issuing threats in the continuing migrant crisis after a prominent government member said that Rome could withhold part of its EU payments.
EU Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said Friday that "the European Union is a community of rules and it operates on the basis of rules, not threats."
Italy has barred from port some ships with migrants picked up at sea over what it says is sluggishness of other countries to help out. One already-docked ship carrying about 150 is now banned from disembarking adults. Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said the government could curtail its EU contributions if no solution is found.
Winterstein called on "all parties involved to work constructively together to find a swift solution."