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First migrants to be relocated to Malta
The first group to land in Malta – all names were selected by the Italians – have undergone the necessary security checks by the Maltese authorities
21 February 2016, 8:30am
The 15 migrants represent just 11% of 131 asylum seekers whom Malta pledged to take from Greece and Italy.
In September last year, EU member states agreed to the relocation of 160,000 asylum seekers and refugees from Italy and Greece. The process has been very slow, with a total of 497 refugees relocated so far.
The first group to land in Malta – all names were selected by the Italians – have undergone the necessary security checks by the Maltese authorities. Upon their arrival, the normal procedures will kick in: the asylum seekers will be temporarily accommodated at an initial reception facility after which they will be offered the possibility to stay in an open accommodation centre.
Once at the open centre, as the migration policy specifies, residents will also be offered integration-oriented courses. As they seek work, also through the provision of courses addressing skills gaps, the refugees will receive an allowance intended to cover daily expenses, such as meals and transport.
The EU programme, which exposed divisions among member states and was approved after months of intense negotiations, was meant to help EU countries most affected by migration crisis to cope with a sudden influx of migrants and refugees.
All of the countries, with the exception of UK and Denmark, agreed to relocate people from Greece and Italy. Eurostat data showed that the top three origins of people who applied for asylum in the EU between October 2014 and October 2015 were from Syria, Afghanistan and Kosovo.
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