As the EC quota system designed to spread African migrants across member states continues to cause controversy, Expresso newspaper reveals Portugal may be asked to triple the initial proposed quota, from 704 to 2,200. The justification is that Portugal will be asked to take on “asylum seekers” as well as “illegal migrants”. With the issue a political hot potato throughout Europe, the European Commission is due to discuss quotas further today.
National and international media have already cited a number of countries against the proposed quotes, the UK being one, France, Spain and Hungary being others – while Ireland and Denmark, like UK, have been given the option to “opt out”.
Portugal has this far remained on the fence – with foreign affairs minister Rui Machete warning that absorbing 704 African refugees would already be asking Portugal “for a very large effort”.
Considering that in 2014 Portugal only took in 40 asylum seekers, 704 illegal migrants would increase Portugal’s effort by 1760%.
To now face a further tripling of the load may simply be too much.
As Expresso explains, the EC is basing its thinking on the presumption that Portugal should take 3.89% of the 40,000 migrants that have already flooded into the EU through Greece and Italy – and then further “provide refuge and analyse 1,556 requests for international protection”.
Member states are due to vote on these proposals which, if passed, will become obligatory, reports Expresso.