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Donald Tusk Greece criticises EU chief over refugee quota comments

Greece on Wednesday said EU President Donald Tusk's rejection of refugee quotas was "ill-timed" and had no hope of being accepted at a summit this week.

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On the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros where there are over 15,000 refugees and migrants, camps are filled to triple their capacity, forcing many to sleep in tents play

On the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros where there are over 15,000 refugees and migrants, camps are filled to triple their capacity, forcing many to sleep in tents

(AFP/File)

Greece on Wednesday said EU President Donald Tusk's rejection of refugee quotas was "ill-timed" and had no hope of being accepted at a summit this week.

"Donald Tusk made an aimless, ill-timed and pointless intervention on the refugee issue, and I don't think his proposal has any hope of being adopted," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted ahead of the two-day EU meetings starting on Thursday.

"We will not accept any phrase in the (summit) conclusions that does not refer to equal (burden) sharing," Tsipras said.

Tusk said in a pre-summit letter to leaders that mandatory relocation was "ineffective" and "highly divisive", recommending that efforts should instead be directed to securing Europe's borders.

Under a scheme introduced in 2015, asylum seekers from the frontline states of Greece and Italy were moved to other EU countries under a quota system, but Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have refused to take almost any.

Plans by the European Commission to introduce a permanent mechanism for refugee-sharing for any future crises have been stalled for months.

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