Balkan, EU leaders agree to coordinate on migrants

Updated: 2015-10-26 10:46


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Balkan, EU leaders agree to coordinate on migrants

A migrant holds a flower as she waits for buses at Miratovac village, Serbia October 24, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

"Europe must show it is a continent of values, a continent of solidarity," she said. "This is a building block ... but we need to take many further steps."

She also stressed the need to continue negotiations with Turkey, the main transit country to Europe for not only Syrian and Iraqi refugees but also large numbers of Afghans and Pakistanis viewed in the EU as unwanted economic migrants.


Tsipras said he was satisfied with the outcome. A leftist, who has had a rocky relationship with Berlin and Brussels since his election in January, began months of brinkmanship before a bailout deal in July kept Greece in the euro zone.

In the frontline of the migrant wave this year, Greece has been criticised for failing to implement EU law on registering new arrivals. Officials said Tsipras had initially resisted calls for Greece to greatly expand accommodation for asylum-seekers and accept more border guards from other EU states.

However, the final agreement included a Greek commitment to increase to 30,000 by the end of this year the number of places it has to host migrants - officials said it currently has some 7,000-10,000. A further 20,000 people should be sheltered in private accommodation in Greece, the statement said, while another 50,000 places should be available in countries further north.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, whose chief was at the meeting, will work with governments on that program.