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EU threatens Hungary, Poland with fines if refuse refugees

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The EU executive said on Wednesday it was ready to institute court proceedings within weeks that could lead to fines for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic if they refuse to take in asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece.

Speaking to reporters after the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), upheld the legality of quotas for states to take migrants relocated from the Mediterranean, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said:

“If the member states that have not relocated at all or not for a long time do not change their approach in the coming weeks, we should then consider to take the last step in the infringement procedure, taking Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice.”

The ECJ has the power to levy financial penalties on governments which fail to comply with EU law.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald and Lily Cusack; editing by Philip Blenkinsop