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06.39 14 Sep 2015


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Justice Ministers from the European Union are gathering in Brussels today to discuss strategies to deal with the current refugee crisis.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin is standing over the plan that will see refugees taken in by Ireland fast tracked through the system, ahead of others who were here first and who have been languishing in Direct Provision for several years.

EU ministers are due to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the refugee crisis.

Mr Howlin said that the refugees arriving in Ireland will already have been identified as refugees by the United Nations prior to being sent to Ireland - from countries such as Greece and Hungary - and so the process of verificationof refugee claims will likely be far quicker.

“Bluntly, people coming from someplace like Bangladesh, they might be escaping poverty but their very life is not at risk in normal circumstances," he said.

“But people coming from Syria, or Iraq or Ertirea, their very life is threatened, so there will be a presumption that the 4000 we take – identified by the United Nations as refugees - will be identified as refugees,2 he said.

Germany has reintroduced border controls along its border with Austria in a move that represents a part suspension of one of the founding principles of modern Europe: free movement of people.

Controls have been brought in on road crossings and Germany has stopped train traffic from Austria in an attempt to slow the influx, which saw 13,000 people arrive in the country on Saturday, followed by another 3,000 on Sunday morning.

As the debate in Europe as to how to handle the numbers of migrants making the journey to the continent continues, at least 34 people died in the Aegean Sea when their boat capsized off the island of Farmakonisi.

It is thought to be the greatest loss of life in that part of the Mediterranean this summer.

Announcing the German government's decision on border controls Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said: "The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country."

He added: "This step became necessary.

"The great willingness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks - by full-time employees and especially by the many thousands of volunteers - must not be overstrained."

Overnight at the border crossing near the Bavarian town of Passau, German border police seized eighteen cars from eight different countries.

Thirty suspected people traffickers were detained and 60 migrants taken to a nearby holding centre.

Six of the vehicles were registered in Germany, five from Sweden, one from the Netherlands, one from Hungary, two from France, one from Poland, one from Austria and one from Bulgaria.


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