(From Voice of America)
European leaders failed to breach bitter divisions over migration during a mini-summit in Brussels Sunday, making chances increasingly slim they will reach any significant deal for managing the ongoing influx of economic migrants and asylum-seekers at a full-blown European Union meeting later this week.
Still, some leaders cited modest progress on a few issues — including a plan to set up migrant reception centers that is backed by France and Spain — even as Italy called for a major overhaul of the EU’s current system of dealing with migration.
“I think it was better than expected, there was some progress that has been achieved,” Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said, echoing a similar assessment by his Spanish counterpart, with both describing frank exchanges in the afternoon meeting. . . .
Yet agreement on a broad, overarching migration plan appeared elusive, and the summit was handicapped from the start, after being boycotted by eastern European countries deeply hostile over pressure to take in more asylum-seekers.