EU leaders agree on plan for migrants
EU leaders agreed on voluntary resettlement of 60,000 migrants; Greece votes to make citizens of 2nd-generation migrants
After seven hours of debate from Thursday to early Friday morning in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to a plan that would accept 60,000 migrants with country's adhering on a voluntary basis.
Hungary and Bulgaria were excused from the scheme as lacking the necessary resources.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after the meeting, that this debate was "the biggest challenge I have seen in European affairs in my time as chancellor."
The plan targets 40,000 migrants currently in Italy and Greece, as well as 20,000 still outside EU territory.
About 2,000 migrants have been killed at sea in efforts to reach Europe, according to International Organization for Migration statistics, and the organization has warned that the migrant death toll could reach 30,000 in 2015.
EU nations must now agree by the end of July on how many migrants each country will accept.
Separately, on Thursday, the Greek parliament voted a law that will give Greek citizenship to second-generation migrants.
The bill will make second-generation migrants eligible for citizenship once they have enrolled in an elementary school, so long as at least one of their parents has a residence permit.
Alternate Immigration Policy Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou said in parliament that migrants who are permanent residents of Greece and their children should have the right to claim citizenship.
"We insist on this compromise, which is both viable and realistic," she said about the bill. Previously, second-generation migrants in Greece had no papers, and no access to civil services, including schools.
Last Modified: 2015-06-26 11:25:28
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