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EU ministers consider processing centres along migration routes

Most EU media continue to comment  widely on the refugee crisis. Yesterday – three days before the next extraordinary European Council in Malta on 12 November – EU Justice and Interior Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, discussed speeding up the relocation of refugees, strengthening borders and fighting human trafficking. Indeed, of the 160,000 refugees that the EU is committed to relocating, less than 150 have been relocated, Arte, Kronen Zeitung, Efimerida ton Syntakton and Salzburger Nachrichten report. At this pace, it would take the European Union 99 years to distribute the 160,000 refugees, Jyllands Posten writes.

In a commentary in Foglio, David Carretta notes that despite Europe’s major effort, the plan for the relocation of 160,000 refugees has failed. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, who chaired yesterday’s meeting of interior ministers in Brussels, admitted that the hotspots are not enough to manage the 10,000 people arriving in Greece every day. Mr Asselborn proposed opening processing centres along migration routes, including in non-EU countries such as Macedonia and Serbia, in a bid to control the flow. Those centres could then conduct the registrations and identification that should have been carried out in Greece, including fingerprinting, as well an initial screening to determine whether people were likely to qualify for asylum or should be deported from Europe.

“The policy of just letting people through is over,” said Jean Asselborn, as quoted by The Daily Mail. European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stressed there was no plan to set up “detention centres” and said the idea was to provide support for people travelling through the Balkans, including Syrian refugees and Asians looking for work in Europe, Greek media report. EU interior ministers confirmed that by the end of the month migrant hotspots in Italy and Greece must be completed, and that the governments of the two countries must speed up procedures needed for relocating refugees, La Stampa and said.

Efimerida ton Syntakton gives its view on the EU meeting, stating that a new recital of hypocrisy took place in Brussels as the EU Ministers continue to shed “false tears” about the refugee crisis. Several media continue to comment that the inability of EU member states to act together challenges the very foundations of Europe. Speaking to DPA, and quoted by Simerini, Luxembourgish Jean Asselborn stated that “the refugee crisis could destroy the EU,” and warned that “the corrosive consequences of the refugee crisis could quickly lead to uncontrollable developments.” He also maintained that the EU has only a few months left before it disintegrates under the burden of the migration crisis. In his opinion, fake nationalism could lead to actual war, Večernji list reports.

Meanwhile, all German media, The Daily Telegraph and Arte report that Angela Merkel is facing rebellion within her own party, over her “open-door” migration policy. Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister, attempted this weekend to change asylum rules so that most Syrian refugees would be granted a more limited form of asylum, which would leave them unable to bring family members with them. Wolfgang Schäuble, the influential finance minister, has since come out in support of Mr de Maizière’s initiative.



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