The Latest: EU: Nations not helping refugees in Italy enough

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2016 8:34 AM
The Latest: EU: Nations not helping refugees in Italy enough

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the massive influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The European Commission says too few asylum-seekers in Italy have been sent to other European nations under a scheme to distribute 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece over two years.

A report released Wednesday by the Commission said Italy "is still far behind the rate necessary to achieve the overall target." It said 279 people have been relocated since September and 200 requests for places have been sent to other EU countries. So far, countries have only offered 966 relocation places to Italy.

The report noted that Italy deported 14,000 people last year but says this "remains insufficient in the context of over 160,000 arrivals in 2015."

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1:35 p.m.

The European Commission is calling on countries along the Balkans migration route into Europe to do more to provide shelter for people fleeing conflict or poverty.

Leaders of Balkans countries committed last year to provide 50,000 places for people to shelter along the migration route, agreeing that it was important to do this in time for winter.

A European Commission report released Wednesday said that only "around half of this figure is currently available or being developed."

It said that Balkans countries "now need to urgently speed up the provision of reception capacities."

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1:15 p.m.

The European Union is insisting that "as a matter of urgency" Turkey needs to stem the flow of irregular crossings of migrants into Greece.

The EU is specifically looking at Ankara to ease the migrant crisis and last year agreed on a $3.4 billion plan to help the nation deal with the 2.75 million refugees it harbors. Since last year, about 880,000 people have made a crossing from Turkey into Greece and on to Germany and the EU's heartland.

The move has caused a major political crisis within the 28-nation bloc since there is widespread disagreement what to do with those who arrive.

Hence, Wednesday's European Commission report on Turkey insists Ankara needs to make progress in stopping the crossings fast and beef up action against human traffickers.

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12:45 p.m.

The European Commission says Greece's response to the refugee emergency continues to be too slow and that it's not sending enough migrants who don't qualify for asylum back home.

A report released Wednesday said that the deployment of specialist teams known as hotspots to register and fingerprint migrants has been held up in part by staffing and infrastructure shortages.

The commission's report said that "only one hotspot is currently fully operational." The hotspot scheme was launched in September and Greece is supposed to have five up and running.

The report noted that almost 20,000 migrants have been deported since the beginning of last year, but that "this remains insufficient in the context of over 800,000 arrivals in 2015."

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10:15 a.m.

Police say a recent grenade attack on an asylum seekers' home in Germany wasn't triggered by hatred on refugees, but suspect it was caused by rivalry between different companies involved in providing safety for asylum centers.

Police in Villingen-Schwenningen in the Black Forest said late Tuesday that they detained four suspects. They did not reveal names of the four men, but only said they were migrants from eastern Europe.

Police did not give any further details, but said "conflicts between security companies could be the cause" for the attack.

The grenade was thrown over the fence of the asylum home the night of Jan. 28-29 and landed next to the container of the security staff. It didn't explode, and a bomb squad destroyed it in a controlled explosion.