EU ministers approve disputed migrant quota plan: media

22:50, 22 September 2015
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EU interior ministers have approved a controversial plan to relocate 120,000 migrants across the continent over the next two years, according to the BBC.


It will see migrants moved from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other EU countries, the BBC reported.

"I ask the countries of Europe, the citizens of Europe, to show solidarity with those people who have fled their homes, seeking safety," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said earlier today during an EU Budget Conference in Brussels.

"Solidarity is an empty word if it is not followed up by action," he said.

Read alsoMigrant crisis: Thousands arrive in Austria over weekendMeanwhile, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against accepting mandatory quotas. After the vote, Slovakia's prime minister said he would not accept the new quotas, the BBC reported.

Finland abstained from the vote. Poland, which had opposed the proposal, voted for it.

Read alsoGermany border crackdown deals blow to Schengen system: The GuardianThe matter must now be ratified by EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.

Quite unexpectedly, Switzerland announced it is ready to take part in migrant redistribution efforts, on a condition of being able to make decisions, according to TASS information agency.

Meanwhile the Swiss image, reinforced by two referendums, is a country less welcoming to Muslims, Haaretz reports. 

“In a 2009 referendum Swiss voters backed a ban on the construction of new minarets and in 2014 they approved a plan to curb immigration with a quota system, a decision that put Switzerland at odds with the EU principle of free movement,” according to Haaretz.

"Both have always existed in Switzerland: solidarity and reservations towards foreigners," Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga told in an interview with a Swiss newspaper, Haaretz reported.

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