Saturday 3 December 2016

160,000 refugees to be divided across EU - minister

Amy Wright in Brussels

Published 15/09/2015 | 02:30

Refugees rest after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria in Nickelsdorf yesterday.
Refugees rest after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria in Nickelsdorf yesterday.
An Afghan refugee woman holding her daughter rests while waiting to board a train heading to the Austrian border. It is obvious that what we are now witnessing a disaster of global proportions that demands a global solution.
A young syrian girl sits on the tracks at the Serbian border with Hungary as she and her family wait for darkness before heading across country in Hungary. Although shoeless the little girl was in good spiritis.
A Syrian refugee girl looks out the window from inside a bus after disembarking a passenger ship at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece. Photo: REUTERS/Michalis Karagiannis
Police officers stop refugees after taking them off the train at the rail station in Freilassing, Germany (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
A Syrian refugee carries his sleeping daughter as they walk towards Greece's border, with Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni. Photo: REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
A German policeman watches as migrants are taken off a train at a border station in Freilassing, Germany Photo: REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
Refugees on the road between Austria and Hungary. (AP)
Migrants and refugees wait for buses after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria (AP)
Hundreds turned out on Sandymount Strand in Dublin yesterday to send a strong message to the Government that people in Ireland want to extend the welcome to refugees. Photo: Fergal Phillips
A child in the refugee camp in Lebanon
Children playing in the refugee camp in Lebanon

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.

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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.

Irish Independent

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