Pevkur: No migrant families offered to us (3)

(Michaela Rehle/Reuters/Scanpix)
11/10/2015 11:02 AM
Category: Politics

The redistribution of migrants who have arrived in Italy or Greece is going slow – only a few hundred families have found new homes in Sweden and Luxembourg, and none in Estonia.

EU governments have agreed to distribute 160,000 asylum seekers. EU interior ministers have now met again to iron out the technical side of the agreement.

Johannes Tralla, ERR's Brussels correspondent, said the agreement to distribute 160,000 asylum seekers was achieved after difficult talks, but the implementation of the plan seems to be even harder to realize.

Estonian Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said Italy and Greece must do more, adding that the two nations have promised to set up migrant registering centers, but so far only one such center is up and running between the two nations.

“It is now a month since our meeting with the Italian minister and no families have been offered to us. In the EU, around 100 families have been relocated to Luxembourg and Sweden, but as talk was of 160,000, then there is still a long way to go,” Pevkur said.

He said Estonia has sent its liaison officer to Italy and is ready to accept migrants.

Before asylum seekers can be legally sent to other EU nations from Italy and Greece, they must be registered and identified. As registration and identification does not take place on the EU's outer border, tens of thousands of migrants are entering mainly Germany and Sweden illegally every day.

Besides Italy and Greece, which receive the bulk of new migrants, Sweden has also said it wants to redistribute migrants who have reached its shores.

Pevkur said, after Monday's meeting of EU interior ministers, that a more efficient policy on deporting illegal migrants would help to solve the crises. He said all who have entered EU illegally, without international rights for protection, should be sent back, as well as all who refuse cooperation, such as not giving their fingerprints.

Pevkur also said smugglers must be tackled and the union's outside borders strengthened.

The next meeting of EU's interior ministers is set to take place on December 4 in Brussels.

J.M. Laats

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