And they called us uncivilised! EU infighting over Afghan refugees – UK accepts 20,000
Afghanistan: ‘Taliban have all the cards’ says expert
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Its member states are holding off on announcing how many Afghan asylum seekers they will offer shelter to amid fears of a new migrant crisis. This leaves the bloc flagging behind its international partners, who have already declared they will regime huge numbers of refugees from Afghanistan. The UK has already vowed to take in 20,000 vulnerable Afghans threatened by the Taliban.
In recent days, Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa insisted that the EU should not open its doors to Afghan migrants.
“The EU will not open any European migration corridors for Afghanistan,” he fumed.
Mr Jansa’s intervention is crucial because he currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency.
It means Slovenian ministers and officials are in charge of the inter-governmental negotiations in Brussels because EU member states.
He said there could not be a repeat of the “strategic mistake” of the 2015 migrant crisis, when the EU introduced a mandatory migrant resettlement scheme despite huge opposition from Hungary and Poland.
European Parliament President David Sassoli quickly lashed out at the Slovenian leader in what soon became a bitter Twitter clash.
“It’s not up to the Slovenian Presidency to say what the position of the EU is on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Mr Sassoli said.
The EU Parliament chief has previously called for refugees to be equally shared out across the bloc.
Mr Jansa fired back: “It is up to the EU member states to decide if they want to take another wave of migration or not.”
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Elsewhere in the EU, leaders are also deeply divided on the issue of rehoming Afghan migrants.
Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said he will not “voluntarily accept more people” while he is in charge.
Armin Laschet, who is expected to replace Angela Merkel as German Chancellor, said there can be no repeat of the 2015 crisis, when Germany opened its borders to around one million Syrian refugees.
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Meanwhile, EU member states are busy erecting anti-migrant fences and barriers across the bloc’s borders to stop refugees entering illegally.
Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have all begun construction to bolster defences on the EU’s frontiers with Turkey and Belarus.
The building comes despite previous criticism of former US President Donald Trump, who used the pledge of a wall to keep migrants out on American border with Mexico to help propel himself to the White House in 2016.
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