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EU official: We have tools and power to make members accept refugees

The European Union’s commissioner for migration says there are ways to make all EU members states comply with the program of relocation of  refugees among them.

Dimitris Avramopoulos made the statement last week in Warsaw, where he is visiting the growing European border guard agency, Frontex.

Poland is refusing to accept migrants, arguing they are chiefly economic migrants, not war refugees, and may potentially pose a threat.

 The relocation plan is intended to ease the pressure on countries that have taken the brunt of the migrant wave: Italy and Greece.

Without naming Poland, Avramopoulos said the EU has the “tools, the means and the power” to convince all members to comply and will make an assessment of response by the end of September. He mentioned no sanctions.

At a press conference beginning of the month, Dimitris Avramopoulos said member countries have until September to take in 160,000 mostly Syrian refugees currently stranded in Greece and Italy.

“If we don’t have tangible efforts by September … the commission will not hesitate to make use of its power,” Avramopoulos said at a news conference.

Avramopoulos, who is Greece’s EU commissioner, said the EU has been trying to convince member states to “do their duty,” adding, “But if it is not the case in the future, infringements might be an option.”

He was referring to “infringement proceedings,” which the European Commission may launch to impose fines on member states that break EU rules.

ramopoulos’s comments are the latest in a series of threats by EU officials to countries that refuse to accept refugees or challenge the EU’s quotas.

“The Commission might start infraction procedures” against resistant nations, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans declared in early February. He expressed his hope that “peer pressure” would force countries to comply.

Hungary, another member state, sued the bloc in December, 2015, saying mandatory resettlement quotas would affect the country’s internal security. The resettlement quotas allocate refugees across the EU based on the population of each country.
More than 62,000 refugees and migrants are stuck in debt-ridden Greece. After the diplomatic row with Germany and Holland, Turkey has repeatedly threatened to cancel the EU Turkey deal and send 15,000 migrants per month to Europe.

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One comment

  1. Avramopoulos is a useless and corrupt old fool. Athenians recall well his mismanagement of Athens, and his heritage — e.g. expensive rubbish-collecting machines from Bulgaria, that cost a small fortune (inexplicably) yet are so noisy that they damage the lives of citizens; the wasteful steel railings all along some central streets, that stop pedestrians from crossing the road (which also cost a small fortune); the expensive revamping of various Squares (such as Kolonaki) with fully grown trees transplanted with expensive Dutch technology (something like 100,000 euros per tree, if I recall correctly). All that this guy ever did was waste enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money, and strangely seemed to acquire a lot of personal wealth at the same time. I wonder if these two things were somehow connected.