Germany: EU migrant rescue plan to include opt-out clause

International

A Iraqi girl looks on as she is covered with a thermal blanket after she and other migrants and refugees were rescued by the Greek coast guard, early Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, near the Greek island from Samos. 23 migrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Iran who tried to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos on a plastic boat, were rescued by the Greek coast Guard. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Interior Ministry says a proposal for the automatic distribution of migrants rescued at sea will include an opt-out clause that Berlin is prepared to use if there are signs the new system is being “abused.”

A spokesman said Wednesday that over the past 15 months Germany has taken in 225 migrants rescued from rickety dinghies in the central Mediterranean.

The spokesman, Steve Alter, told reporters in Berlin that the plan to be agreed on next week is based on those figures and “if the numbers should rise significantly” this would be a sign that it’s encouraging migrants to make the crossing or that it’s being abused, and “then the minister is firmly determined to leave the mechanism again.”

The proposal envisages Germany taking in a quarter of rescued migrants.

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