Italy plea for EU help on migrants

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Published: Friday 26th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi clashed with EU leaders reluctant to help ease pressure on his country and Greece by taking in thousands of refugees arriving in the two countries.

More than 114,000 migrants have been plucked from the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Some 2,600 have died or gone missing during the often-perilous sea crossing.

The EU wants to oblige member countries to share 40,000 Syrians and Eritreans requiring international protection who are expected to arrive in Italy and Greece over the next two years.

But many of the 28 nations are refusing to have migrant numbers dictated to them from Brussels.

“If you don’t agree with 40,000 refugees you don’t deserve to be called Europe,” Mr Renzi was quoted as saying to fellow EU leaders during an emotional plea at a summit in Brussels.

“If this is your idea of Europe, you can keep it. Either there is solidarity or don’t waste our time,” he said, according to one EU diplomat.

Published: Friday 26th June 2015 by The News Editor

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