Rome, Oct 27 (IANS/AKI) Europe can take in hundreds of thousands of migrants provided there are common policies to ease the burden for border countries, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has said.
“Europe — with hundreds of millions of people — can accept hundreds of thousands of migrants” so long as there is a common policy, Gentiloni told Bloomberg TV.
Over 613,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean this year to seek refuge in Europe.
With winter approaching, more than a million are expected to arrive, most in Greece and Italy, which are the first countries of entry.
“The idea that EU border countries should solve 80 percent of the problem is out of touch with reality,” Gentiloni added.
His comments came as European leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels agreed to shelter 100,000 more people in refugee reception centres in Greece and neighbouring Balkan countries as the EU faces its worst refugee crisis since World War II.
More than 9,000 migrants arrived in Greece every day last week, the highest rate so far this year.
EU leaders also agreed within a week to send 400 police officers to Slovenia, which has struggled with arrival numbers.