Albania refuses to host EU migrant centers

Albania refuses to host EU migrant centers
Albanian PM Edi Rama said, Tirana would not be bought by EU membership talks to accept migrant centers. (Reuters)
Updated 27 June 2018

Albania refuses to host EU migrant centers

Albania refuses to host EU migrant centers
  • Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama: “We will never accept such EU refugee camps.” It is a “dangerous solution to turn Albania into a breakwater for Europe’s refugees.”
  • Edi Rama: Such centers mean “dumping desperate people somewhere like toxic waste that no one wants.”

BERLIN: Albania on Wednesday rejected any talk of hosting a center for migrants seeking to enter the European Union, saying that people must not be treated like “toxic waste.”
As part of their plan to curb new arrivals, EU leaders are hoping to establish sites outside the bloc to process asylum applications.
As Albania lies next to Greece and just across the Adriatic from Italy, the non-EU state had been floated as a possible location for such asylum centers.
But Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama rejected the idea in an interview with Germany’s Bild daily.
“We will never accept such EU refugee camps,” he said, adding that it was a “dangerous solution to turn Albania into a breakwater for Europe’s refugees.”
Such centers mean “dumping desperate people somewhere like toxic waste that no one wants,” Rama added.
The Albanian leader also told Brussels that Tirana would not be bought by EU membership talks to accept such centers.
“The refugee crisis must be dealt with regardless of the current situation of our membership bid,” he added.
Rama’s refusal came a day after the EU agreed to open negotiations next June for Tirana to join the bloc.
It spells another setback for European leaders hoping to agree a deal to curb migrants from entering the bloc, a challenge expected to dominate an EU summit opening in Brussels Thursday.