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Brussels plans cash sweetener to share migrant load

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By Damon Embling
Brussels plans cash sweetener to share migrant load

The European Commission's offering to shoulder the costs of taking in migrants from boats in the Mediterranean.

It comes in the wake of Italy closing its ports to rescue vessels.

Under the plans, six-thousand euros would be paid out for each migrant taken in. There would also be funding for teams to help process migrants seeking asylum in Europe.

"The two concepts, controlled centres and regional disembarkation arrangements, should really be seen as working in concert, together they should help ensure that we have a truly shared regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges," said Natasha Berthaud, a European Commission spokesperson.

The plans are aimed at EU governments who set up the controlled centres on their soil - and follow last month's EU summit on the issue.

But Italy's rightist interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has already denounced the financial offer as far too little.

The plans will be discussed at an EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.