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Juncker proposes relocating extra 120,000 refugees: European source

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(BRUSSELS) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed relocating 120,000 refugees from overstretched Italy, Greece and Hungary, a European source told AFP on Thursday.

The plan -- which comes on top of a Commission proposal in May for the relocation of 40,000 migrants -- is expected to be formally unveiled by Juncker during his State of the Union speech on September 9 after being approved by Commissioners, the source said.

"Because we have a very pressing situation for Italy, Hungary and Greece, there will be a proposal for emergency relocation for these three countries totalling 120,000," the source said.

News of the plan comes after EU president Donald Tusk called on member states Thursday to relocate at least 100,000 people, and after France and Germany agreed that binding migrant quotas are needed.

Under EU rules asylum applications must be processed by the country where a person first arrives.

Juncker's plan faces tough opposition, as EU leaders failed to agree on his proposal for compulsory quotas for the relocation of 40,000 refugees from Syria and Eritrea.

They agreed only at a summit in June to take 32,000 on a voluntary basis.

The relocation would be based on the same criteria as the May proposals, which include population size and economic output, the source said.

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