France and Germany to take nearly half of refugees undr new EU plan

According to Mr Juncker’s proposal for mandatory quotas for EU states which is set to be unveiled Wednesday, Germany would take 31,443 and France 24,031, to relieve the burden on Greece, Italy and Hungary.

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PARIS // Germany and France would take nearly half of the 120,000 refugees to be relocated from front line states under a plan by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, a European source said Monday.

According to Mr Juncker’s proposal for mandatory quotas for EU states which is set to be unveiled Wednesday, Germany would take 31,443 and France 24,031, to relieve the burden on Greece, Italy and Hungary, the source said.

Spain would take 14,931 under the plan.

Francois Hollande, the French president, confirmed in a press conference on Monday that France would take 24,000 refugees over two years.

Europe has been spurred into action by public outrage over pictures of the body of Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his brother and mother while the family were crossing from Turkey to Greece last week.

Mr Juncker is due to formally announce his plan for the relocation of 120,000 refugees in his EU State of the Union speech on Wednesday.

But many states including Hungary are opposed to quotas, and an earlier plan for the mandatory relocation of 40,000 refugees was rejected by EU member states at a summit in June.

At the time they agreed to take in 32,000 on a voluntary basis.

Earlier, the German government said it will spend €6 billion (Dh24.6bn) next year to support migrants coming to Germany.

In a late-night meeting in Berlin, Angela Merkel’s coalition government also agreed to introduce legal measures making it easier to deport-asylum seekers from countries considered “secure states” like Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania. Asylum-seekers will also get less cash in the future and more non-cash benefits.

German officials predict that up to 800,000 migrants will arrive by the end of the year, many of them refugees fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

* Agencies