European Union governments now need to house at least 100,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa after squabbling for months over sheltering smaller numbers, EU President Donald Tusk said.
As refugees jammed Budapest’s train station and Hungary took steps to shut its non-EU borders, Tusk said the inner-European clash over asylum seekers risks degenerating into “political blackmail, divisions and a new blame game.”
New proposals to relocate refugees piling into Greece, Italy and Hungary are due on Sept. 9. Several governments balked at an earlier proposal to redistribute 40,000, watering that number down to 32,000.
“Fair distribution of at least 100,000 refugees among the EU states is what we need today,” Tusk said Thursday at a Brussels press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Orban defended plans to seal Hungary’s border with non-EU states and shunt refugees who have made it to Budapest to Germany and Austria.
Next week’s European Commission proposals would require countries that refuse to take in refugees to provide financing for those that do, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported, without giving sources.
Those proposals will feed in to a Sept. 14 meeting of interior and justice ministers from the 28 EU governments.