Brussels applauds Catalonia’s offer to host refugees and calls for Madrid’s support

April 18, 2016 02:36 PM | ACN

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that “all levels of governance can contribute” to the European Commission’s commitments to tackle the refuges crisis. In a letter addressed to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, Avramopoulos considered Catalonia’s offer to host 4,500 refugees “a step in the right direction” and called for the offer to become a reality as soon as possible. He also lamented that Spain had “only relocated 18 migrants” besides having committed to “assisting 6,127” refugees. “These schemes have to be implemented as a matter of urgency” to “ensure that the Union takes on its fair share of the global responsibility to provide a safe haven for the world's refugees”, stated the letter. Avramopoulos also expressed his will for Spain’s government to “support” Catalonia’s efforts in this matter, as it is “responsible for the implementation of the relevant EU decisions”.

Barcelona’s Mayor reports to the EC Spain’s “immoral” management of the refugee crisis

April 5, 2016 06:22 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s Mayor, Ada Colau, travelled to Brussels this Tuesday to report Spain’s “immoral”management regarding the refugee crisis, which she described as “deeply shaming”. According to Colau, citizens in Barcelona “are asking to be a host city”and “die of shame and outrage when they see images of Lesbos and Idomeni”. “We are part of the solution, we have expertise and are willing to help”she stated, but regretted that sometimes local governments “are not taken into account”. Together with other European mayors, Colau met the EU's migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, and asked them to “listen to the local governments”. Avramopoulos assured that he “took note”of Colau’s demands but emphasised that EU support to local authorities is always “through the Member States”.

Puigdemont offers Brussels to host 4,500 refugees, Spain criticises “unilateral” action

March 18, 2016 07:04 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont expressed Catalonia’s willingness to accommodate 4,500 refugees and provide “a solution for those millions of people running away from war”. In a letter to the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont stated that the Catalan government and institutions are “working to accommodate around 4,500 refugees” and assured that Catalonia is “ready to receive up to 1,800 refugees” right now, “600 of which would be hosted directly by the Catalan government”. On the other hand, the Spanish executive responded to Puigdemont’s action and accused him of acting “unilaterally” and “adding more problems” to the existing situation. “A region in Europe wants to be the solution to the problem, this is impossible”, stated current Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.