The European Union approves a plan to share out 120,000 refugees across its 28 states, overriding vehement opposition from eastern nations. Vanessa Johnston reports.
With nearly half a million migrants and refugees having already crossed into Europe this year... They continued to come Tuesday, with some 300 arriving in Sicily... As European interior ministers met in Brussels over how to share responsibility. Then this announcement from Germany's Thomas de Maziere. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER, THOMAS DE MAZIERE, SAYING: "We have a deal. We have decided today at the council of the interior ministers to distribute 120,000 asylum-seekers, particularly from Italy and Greece, among European member states. Germany will also participate to the extent of around 30,000 people." But while ministers had hoped to reach consensus... Four eastern nations -- the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary -- were vehemently opposed. With no tradition of integrating large numbers of Muslims, many are anxious about the impact on their societies -- And don't want to encourage more people to head for Europe. The U.N. called Tuesday's decision by the EU "an important first step" in tackling the refugee crisis.