Up to 24,000 asylum seekers from Italy with EU quotas-update

Source says EC proposal would move 60% elsewhere in Europe

(ANSA) - Brussels, May 22 - As many 24,000 asylum seekers, depending on "changeable" figures, could leave Italy under proposed quotas being developed by the European Commission, a source told ANSA Friday.
    Combined with Greece, the total could be 40,000 refugees transferred, said a source.
    A figure of 36,000 was earlier suggested. None of the figures are final.
    "Roughly 60%" of asylum seekers now in Italy would be sent elsewhere in Europe under the EC proposal, a source said. Precise numbers depend on "changeable" figures, the source added.
    EU migrant quotas would likely take some pressure off front-line Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece and Malta but some other European nations are balking at imposed quotas, creating significant controversy. Meanwhile, Premier Matteo Renzi on Friday pledged that Italy will raise a migrant boat that went down off Libya in mid-April claiming 800 lives, to make sure that "Europe does not close its eyes to the dead" in the migrant emergency in the Mediterranean.
    Renzi was speaking at a rally in Salerno for his Democratic Party's candidate in May 31 regional elections, Vincenzo De Luca.
    The disaster off the Libyan coast on April 20 has spurred international efforts to ease the emergency including proposed migrant quotas - which however have met fresh resistance - and a proposed Italian-led naval mission to destroy smugglers' boats.
    "The idea of us pretending not to see that boat just doesn't sit well with me," Renzi said.
    "We are tasked with giving them burial...showing Europe that you mustn't close your eyes".
   

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