Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Refugees start arriving in government says “no” to closed borders"

"Prime minister António Costa’s willingness to take as many as 10,000 refugees - instead of the 4500 established by EU quotas - is being demonstrated today as the European Council holds its emergency summit in Brussels on what is universally recognised as the 'worst refugee crisis since World War II'.

Hours before the summit got underway, 64 ‘mainly Syrians and Iraqis’ touched down at Lisbon’s military airbase (Figo Maduro) to be received by dignitaries before going on to various destinations around the country.

A number - particularly children - were so frail and ill from gruelling months of uncertainty and inhospitable conditions in Greece that they had to be immediately transported to hospital, writes Público.

Talking to journalists, Costa’s deputy Eduardo Cabrita said the latest 64 which have followed 65 Eritreans who have arrived since December are “mainly Iraqis and Syrians”, with women, children and families making up most of the numbers, plus a few single people.

Next week, more will start arriving on commercial flights, he explained.

For now, Portugal’s new arrivals will be given accommodation in 15 locations organised by social solidarity, church and refugee support organisations."

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