Ministers in move to help Kurd refugees

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The European Commission is trying to revive plans to share out refugees among member nations to deal with the current influx of Kurds from Turkey and Iraq.

Under the principle of "burden sharing," one suggestion is to set up camps for the refugees in countries such as Italy - which is bearing the brunt of the influx - and then allocate them around the 15 member states.

The idea was discussed yesterday by a meeting of justice and home affairs ministers in Birmingham. Sweden and Germany are backing the idea but it is being opposed by Britain and some other member states who argue that each country has its own history of immigration from different parts of the world. The meeting agreed an action plan to set up safe areas for Kurds in Turkey and Iraq.