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Europe

Asylum Camp Proposals Meet Opposition

The EU remains divided on plans to create camps in North Africa where those seeking asylum will have their applications processed.

German interior minister Otto Schily is expected to present the controversial plans to his EU counterparts on Friday at an informal meeting in Scheveningen in the Netherlands. Although details of the plans are still not clear, many delegations have voiced skepticism about the proposals. Sweden's Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy Barbro Holmberg on Thursday rejected the idea as creating more problems than solutions. "Our borders must remain open for asylum seekers while closed to illegal immigrants," she said. "Sending back asylum seekers to camps is not relevant. I believe reception camps create bigger problems than they solve." Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso also voiced his concerns over the human rights implications of the plans. "Europe cannot allow itself to make a moral, judicial or political backwards step," he said.The French government is also said to oppose the idea. However, the plan has received backing from the Italian and British delegations who are keen to stop the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean. (EUobserver.com)

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