• 67 refugees resettled this week from Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, C. African Republic
• Nearly 600 expected by end-June, far short of pledge to assist 16,000 refugees
Spain welcomed a group of 45 refugees from Syria, Iraq and the Central African Republic on Monday, plus an additional 22 refugees from war-torn Eritrea on Wednesday, bringing to 87 the number of refugees resettled in Spain during 2015-16 as part of the country’s agreement with the European Union to resettle some 16,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa living in camps in Greece, Italy and Central Europe.
The Eritreans arrived to Madrid’s Barajas international airport Wednesday from Italy and will be resettled in Guipúzcoa province in the Basque Country, Madrid and Tarragona by Spanish aid agencies, while the 45 men, women and children belonging to 21 different families who arrived Monday from Greece will be assisted by aid agencies in their resettlement across Spain in Álava, Asturias, the Balearics, Guadalajara, Guipúzcoa, Madrid and Valladolid.
At a critical juncture of Europe’s refugee crisis at this time last year, the EU had asked Spain to accept 15,000 refugees or 12 percent of the total who had arrived and were stranded in temporary camps in Greece, Italy, Eastern and Central Europe. Spain accepted just 18 asylum seekers from Italy in 2015; including groups of refugees who have arrived from Greece and Italy starting in mid-May, the Spanish government says 586 refugees will be relocated to Spain by the end of June.
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