The Latest: Milan police detain 36 at migrant meeting spot
Jul. 26, 2017
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Latest on asylum-seekers and migrants in Europe (all times local):
Authorities have detained several dozen people outside Milan's main train station as the city is seeing a new wave of arriving migrants.
Police said Wednesday that they detained 36 people in an action aimed at combatting crime around the busy station that is a common gathering point for migrants.
The roundup came a week after a Guinean immigrant stabbed a police officer in front of the station and weeks after a 20-year-old Italian-Tunisian man pulled a knife on two soldiers and a police officer inside.
Italian cities are facing renewed pressure over migrants amid persistent arrivals from countries to the south and tighter border controls in nations to the north.
The European Commission says that relocation of migrants from Greece and Italy to other European Union nations reached a record level in June. But it added it is pressing forward with infringement cases against the Czech republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to meet their obligations for accepting migrants under a deal agreed at the height of the migrant crisis in September 2015.
The commission said in a statement Wednesday that over 2,000 migrants were relocated from Greece and nearly 1,000 from Italy in June to other EU nations.
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos says "relocation works if the political will is there." He is calling on EU member states to step up efforts to re-house migrants in Italy, which is now the main point of arrival for migrants making the risky boat crossing to Europe from north Africa, mostly Libya.
He says, "Italy still needs our support."
An adviser to the European Court of Justice says the court should dismiss lawsuits filed by Hungary and Slovakia challenging a European Council decision that the countries have to mandatorily take in hundreds of asylum-seekers.
Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania had voted against the 2015 decision establishing a temporary plan to relocate 120,000 migrants. Under the plan, Hungary would have to temporarily take in 1,294 asylum-seekers and Slovakia, 902.
Advocate General Yves Bot rejected arguments from Slovakia and Hungary regarding the legality of the relocation plan, saying it "helps relieve the considerable pressure on the asylum systems of Italy and Greece." The relocation effort has had only limited success so far.
Bot's proposal issued Wednesday in Luxembourg is non-binding. The court has started deliberating on the case.