160,000 refugees to be divided across EU - minister
Published 15/09/2015 | 02:30
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere last night said that the EU has "agreed in principle" on the redistribution of 160,000 refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary across most other member nations.
But he said the tentative agreement at the meeting of the 28 EU interior ministers had not fully laid down the quota of refugees the member states had to take in to get to the total.
The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council formally adopted the decision to relocate 40,000 people in need of protection.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald last night said a "significant number" of the 600 refugees from this group to be relocated to Ireland would arrive here within the next few months.
"This is a humanitarian crisis which has continued to escalate and to which there are no simple answers. No one state can deal with this on their own and a coherent EU-wide response is needed."
Speaking after yesterday's meeting, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said there was a push to ensure a quick return of migrants who were not genuine refugees fleeing war or persecution.
It was also suggested that new refugee camps in Italy and Greece as well as camps outside of Europe might be built to deter more migrants coming to Europe.
'The Guardian' reported that a draft statement provided for "reception facilities that will be organised so as to temporarily accommodate people". This would mean that in Greece and Italy people would be registered and fingerprinted.
"It is crucial that robust mechanisms become operational immediately in Italy and Greece to ensure identification, registration and fingerprinting of migrants; to identify persons in need of international protection and support their relocation; and to identify irregular migrants to be returned," the statement read.