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European Parliament: EU Member States “to welcome refugees from Italy and Greece”

(Strasburg) –EU States “are supposed to honour commitments and accept refugees coming from Greece and Italy to relieve migration pressures on those two countries”. At the same time, it is necessary to discourage irregular arrivals “by opening safe and legal ways to the EU”. That’s the content of an unbinding resolution approved by the European Parliament at the end of the plenary session with 470 votes in favour, 131 against, and 50 abstentions. MEPs also rejected the proposal of the European Commission to use the 54 thousand places originally meant to relocate asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy in other EU Member States for resettling Syrian refugees from Turkey, in line with the EU/Turkey migration agreement. German speaker, MEP Ska Keller stated that the relocation scheme is a real solidarity instrument “to be strengthened, not weakened”. The problem, she said, “is that Member States are simply not doing enough”, and a few countries “have not welcomed one single refugee, yet”. Moreover, the text says that Afghan, Iraqi and Eritrean refugees should be relocated within the EU.

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