Filippo Grandi, UN’s new refugee agency head says EU could do more for Syrians

, 10:09 AM IST

The new head of the UN refugee agency Filippo Grandi, has said on his visit to Lebanon that he believed that the influx of refugees entering Europe’s borders was manageable, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has earned praise for her government’s pro-refugee policy.

The Italian diplomat Mr. Grandi, also urged the EU to do more for Syrian refugees outside Europe. He said: “Europe can absorb more genuine refugees if it would be better organised among the different member-states.

“However, we understand the predicament. It is a social and political predicament which is very serious.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, “If Europe can’t protect its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that could be thrown into doubt.”

On Friday, his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, warned: “When spring comes and the numbers quadruple, we cannot as the EU cope with the numbers any longer.”

The EU is planning to share the “burden” of refugees among its member states, in such away that the refugees must claim asylum in the first country they arrive in.

Hungary, ousted the migration policy, as a “German problem”.Mr Grandi also urged the EU to “do more for the countries of first asylum” so there would be “less motivation for people to flee further away”.