Renzi says hotspots only part of refugee solution

Premier demands EU tackle all aspects of migrant crisis

(ANSA) - Rome, September 17 - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said Thursday the European Union must formulate a comprehensive response to every aspect of the refugee and migrant crisis. "It's very important to give the message that the EU faces all the issues together: the hotspots, the repatriations, the relocations, and Italy is ready to do its part," he said. "Europe's ID card says we were born to bring walls down not build them," Renzi said.
    "If some countries are in the EU today, this is due to the fact that a wall came down".
    The EU has told Italy and Greece to set up hotspots for more effective registration of new arrivals and processing of their asylum requests. "The hotspots are a part of the solution, not the solution itself," Renzi said. "The identification is conducted with European criteria and personnel and I agree with that. But there are also the issues of repatriations and of the redistribution (of asylum seekers)". Europe is struggling to cope with a massive influx of migrants fleeing war, conflict and persecution in the Middle East and Africa, with disagreements over how to manage the arrivals stoking tension between EU member states.
    The European Parliament on Thursday approved the European Commission's proposal for 120,000 refugees who are presently in Greece, Hungary and Italy to be redistributed within the Union on the basis of mandatory quotas.
    Also on Thursday, Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said his country has reached capacity after 7,300 asylum seekers entered the country earlier in the day from Serbia, after neighboring Hungary sealed its border with a barbed wire fence.
    Premier Zoran Milanovic earlier stated that "Croatia is a transit country for the refugees and it will not behave like other states, closing its borders despite the fact that our resources are limited".