•  EU ministers agree to relocate 40,000 refugees

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    BRUSSELS: European Union (EU) ministers on Monday agreed on a plan to relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece at an emergency meeting.

    The Justice and Home Affairs Council on migration said in a press release that EU ministers adopted a decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece.

    It will apply to 40,000 persons in need of international protection who have arrived or are arriving on the territory of those member states as from 15 August 2015 until 16 September 2017.

    Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President of the Council said: “I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this decision.”

    The member states participating in the mechanism will receive a subsidy of 6,000 euros (USD 6,784) for each relocated person.

    Denmark and the United Kingdom are not participating in this decision.

    The European Committee made the proposal of redistribution in May in dealing with the rising refugee crisis. At last meeting in July, EU home affairs ministers failed to reach the target of 40,000, pledging to redistribute only 32,256 asylum-seekers around Europe.

    Massive influx of migrants are entering Europe in recent weeks, in searching for refuge in European countries.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week called for relocating more 120,000 migrants under a compulsory scheme, bringing the total proposed number up to 160,000.

    Juncker, together with leaders of Germany and France, have been pressing all member states to support Commission proposals. PNA/Xinhua

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