The Latest: Slovakia not a place for Muslims, premier says
BERLIN (AP) -- The Latest on the influx of migrants into Europe (all times local):
Slovakia's prime minister says his country is not a suitable place for Muslims to live because they could change centuries-long traditions.
In an interview with the local press agency TASR published Wednesday, Fico said he doesn't want to have "tens of thousands of Muslims" in Slovakia.
Fico has previously said his government won't allow Muslims to create "a compact community" in Slovakia and that integrating refugees is impossible.
His country is also a vocal opponent of a compulsory EU plan to redistribute refugees in member states and is suing the EU over it.
Fico charges the Muslims would change Slovakia's traditions, which have "been present here for centuries."
The Italian navy says it has recovered 7 bodies from an overturned migrant ship off the coast of Libya. A further 500 migrants who were on board were rescued safely.
A statement from the Italian navy Wednesday says the Bettica patrol ship was responding to a migrant ship in distress when the vessel flipped, sending migrants into the sea.
Crews tossed life jackets to the people in the sea. The rescue operation is continuing.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says her Cabinet has agreed upon details of new measures to help Germany deal with the integration of some 1.1 million migrants who were registered entering the country last year.
Merkel says that the measures seek to balance new "opportunities and obligations" for migrants.
"I think this is a milestone," she told reporters Wednesday.
Further details were to be announced later in the day on specific decisions.
Measures being discussed include expanded orientation courses for migrants and reduced waiting times for integration courses, with a greater emphasis on learning the German language.
The moves still need parliamentary approval.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet is meeting to finalize details of new measures to help deal with the influx of some 1.1 million migrants who were registered entering Germany last year, including getting them into the workforce faster and promoting broader German language skills.
Among other things, the measures being discussed Wednesday foresee expanded orientation courses for migrants and reduced waiting times for integration courses, with a greater emphasis on learning the German language.
To try to avoid migrant ghettos in big cities, the measures would mandate newcomers to stay where they have been officially placed for a minimum of three years unless a job is found that takes them elsewhere.
The proposals also foresee the creation of government-funded jobs for migrants, and relaxed rules on entering the workforce.