Migrants wash at an abandoned hotel where they have been given shelter on the island of Kos, Greece, May 27, 2015. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)
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The EU Wednesday asked its member states to admit 40,000 asylum-seekers from Syria and Eritrea landing in Italy and Greece, which have been overstretched by an influx of migrants.Repeating an earlier proposal, Avramopoulos said the European Union is also asking member states to admit 20,000 people from third countries who have "a clear need for international protection".However, EU states Britain, Ireland and Denmark can opt out of both schemes under existing EU treaties, according to EU officials.Avramopoulos insisted that the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, was not proposing a quota system for distributing people.However, EU sources said, countries must first admit the 40,000 asylum seekers based on a "distribution key," which looks like a quota.
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