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Greece opens first 'hotspot' centre for refugees

brussels bureau

Greece opens first 'hotspot' centre for refugees

Greece has opened its first reception centre on the island of Lesbos.

Known as ‘hotspots’, the centre will separate new arrivals between bona fide refugees and economic migrants.

“There will be other entry points as there is in Lesbos…in Kos, Chios, Leros and Samos,” said Luxembourg’s foreign minister Jean Asselborn, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

“But this is up to Greece to decide, not the European Union,“he said.

“Having hotspots on the continent will enable us to speed up the relocation process.”

The hotspots in Greece and Italy are where a large number of refugees and migrants enter the EU.

More than 600,000 have come by sea since the start of the year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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