Asylum-seekers heading to Germany from Rome
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The first of hundreds of refugees that Germany promised to take each month from Italy leaves tonight.
Italian Interior Ministry officials say some 200 Eritrean asylum-seekers will be flown flown from Rome to Munich. They told The Associated Press on Monday the transfer is the first tranche of the 500 people that Germany pledged in September to take monthly from Italy.
A European Union plan calls for relocating a total of 160,000 asylum-seekers by September 2017 from Greece and Italy, where hundreds of thousands rescued from smuggler boats have arrived over the last few years.
The relocation plan has moved slowly — with only 1,549 refugees transferred from Italy and 5,437 from Greece as of last week.
Some EU countries haven’t accepted any, and some refugees refuse to go anywhere except Germany.
On Monday French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited one of the many shelters set up throughout France to relocate thousands of migrants evacuated from a sprawling slum camp in northern France.
Two dozen anti-migrant demonstrators staged a protest Monday in Croisilles, a small northern town with less than 2,000 inhabitants, where a former retirement home has been turned into a CAO refugee shelter.
Less than 40 migrants, mainly Sudanese, have been relocated there after the squalid refugee slum in the northern city of Calais was cleared out late last month.
Valls said, “unlike lies we have heard,” most of the migrants who used to be in the Calais camp and have now been scattered in some 450 CAO shelters across France will “undoubtedly” be entitled to refugee status.
Serbian police stopped dozens of migrants Monday who tried to cross over a field into neighboring European Union member Croatia.
About 100 migrants, wrapped in blankets and carrying rucksacks and bags, moved into the field Monday after Serbian police blocked the passage on the official border crossing. Minor skirmishes have taken place as migrants tried to push through police lines.
The group, mostly male Afghans and Pakistanis, arrived at the border during weekend after walking some 60 miles from Belgrade. They organized the protest march to demand that EU nations let them in.
They have spent the night out in the open near the border.
About 7,000 migrants have been trapped in Serbia after neighboring EU nations beefed up border controls.
The European Union signaled Monday it won’t take legal action against countries that refuse to share refugees from Greece and Italy as long as the overall target number of people finds new homes.