30 more Syrian refugees for Ireland by end of month

A man holds his hands up behind a chain link fence as Pakistani and Afghan migrants protest inside the Moria detention centre in Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos on Tuesday  against deportation to Turkey.  Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

A further 30 refugees are expected to arrive in Ireland from Greece by the end of the month, as the government seeks to meet its commitments under the EU’s refugee relocation plan agreed last year.

While Ireland pledged to accept 2,622 migrants from Greece and Italy under the EU’s relocation plan, only 10 Syrian refugees have arrived so far. The programme has been struggling to get off the ground due to delays in processing migrants at the EU’s “hotspots” in Greece and Italy.

With Irish officials now confident that the hotspot system is operating more effectively, a further 30 Syrian refugees are expected to be relocated by the end of April. This is in addition to the 259 migrants that have been resettled in Ireland through a separate programme.

As the EU’s controversial refugee plan with Turkey got under way on Monday, Turkish officials indicated that Ankara would accept a further 200 migrants from Greece this week, although further deportations may not take place until Friday.

Meanwhile the European Commission will set out its plans today for a reform of the Dublin regulation, a key strand of EU asylum policy which obliges refugees to seek asylum in the first EU country where they arrive.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/30-more-syrian-refugees-for-ireland-by-end-of-month-1.2599299

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