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Migration Swiss justice minister sceptical of migrant relocation deal

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"We need to find a global system," says Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter, speaking to reporters in Luxembourg


The preliminary agreement on refugee allocation penned in Malta won’t find a majority, predicts Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter.

While welcoming a “broad discussion on the various migration routes and models”, the head of the justice ministryexternal link says she does not believe that the refugee redistribution system penned by five European Union countries in Malta will find a majority at this stage.

“The system is lacking. For example, people without a reason for asylum will also be redistributed,” she said.

Keller-Sutter was speaking from Luxembourg, where EU interior ministers were meeting on Tuesday to discuss the system in more detail. Switzerland is not a member of the 28-country bloc, but via bilateral agreements, it cooperates with the European Union on issues like migration.

At the end of September, Germany, France, Italy, Finland and Malta had agreed to redistribute all migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea.

“What was planned is not really convincing,” Keller-Sutter said. “I feel a lot of scepticism among the EU member states such as Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria, which have the same position as Switzerland.”

Switzerland is fundamentally in favour of introducing a redistribution mechanism. But if such a system were introduced, it would have to be sustainable and take into account, first and foremost, those countries most affected by migration.

“Right now, that’s Greece,” Keller-Sutter said. “I believe we need to find a global system.”


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