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AKIPRESS.COM - The European Commission has offered to shoulder the cost of taking in migrants from boats in the Mediterranean, seeking to entice more governments to shoulder the burden after Italy's new government closed its ports to rescue vessels, Al Jazeera reported.
In a proposal published on Tuesday, the commission said it would pay 6,000 euros ($7,010) for each migrant taken in by EU member states, as well as funding the cost of hundreds of personnel to process mostly African migrants seeking asylum in Europe.
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini denounced the offer as far too little.
"We aren't asking for charity handouts. Every asylum seeker costs the Italian taxpayer between 40,000 and 50,000 euros ($46,700 and $58,400). Brussels, they can keep their charity for themselves," Salvini told reporters. "We don't want money. We want dignity."
The commission's plan, which is aimed at EU governments that set up processing centres on their soil, follows a June leaders' summit that claimed success in reaching a hard-fought agreement to control immigration but left many details unresolved.