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Europe Presses for Action on Migrants  08/30 12:40

   BERLIN (AP) -- Germany, France and Britain pressed Sunday for better 
processing of migrants arriving in southern Europe and for a European 
Union-wide list of countries considered safe, and a special meeting of EU 
interior and justice ministers was called for Sept. 14.

   Interior ministers Thomas de Maiziere of Germany, Bernard Cazeneuve of 
France and Theresa May of Britain stressed the need to set up "hot spots" in 
Greece and Italy by the year's end to ensure migrants are fingerprinted and 
registered, allowing authorities to identify quickly those in need of 

   They called in a statement for a special ministerial meeting in the next two 
weeks. De Maiziere said the EU couldn't wait until a scheduled gathering in 
early October and Luxembourg, which holds the rotating EU presidency, announced 
later Sunday on Twitter that interior and justice ministers will meet in 
Brussels Sept. 14 to discuss how to "strengthen the European response."

   Germany, which has seen many asylum requests this year from Balkan 
countries, is keen to identify "safe" countries to ease returning rejected 
asylum applicants.

   "So that we can help those in need, we must also tell those who are not in 
need that they can't stay with us," Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the 
chancellery in Berlin Sunday during an annual government open day. Those who do 
need protection should be integrated more quickly "into our life," while those 
who don't should be sent home quickly, she added.

   Authorities expect the number of refugees coming to Germany to reach 800,000 
this year, a fourfold increase on last year.

   De Maiziere said that the figure would be "too much for Germany" if it 
remained so high for years, but pushed aside a German state governor's 
assertion that the figure could reach 1 million in 2015. The current estimate 
is "seriously predicted," he said.

   Berlin wants many other EU countries to do more to share the burden. Merkel 
said the current situation "is not fair."


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