Europe

Spain preparing to receive its first refugees from Greece

Migrants and refugees walk among fields on their way to Idomeni camp, after trying to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, Saturday, May 14, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants are camped at the makeshift refugee camp of the northern Greek border point of Idomeni. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Migrants and refugees walk among fields on their way to Idomeni camp, after trying to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, Saturday, May 14, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants are camped at the makeshift refugee camp of the northern Greek border point of Idomeni. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

Spain says it is preparing to receive its first two batches of refugees from Greece and also expects to welcome more from Italy as part of a European Union relocation program.

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Sunday a first group of 87 refugees from Greece is due to arrive in Spain "between May 24 and 26" and 63 more would arrive "at the beginning of June."

Fernandez Diaz said 18 refugees — 17 Eritreans and one Syrian national — had come from Italy in November and 32 more were expected to arrive soon.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said last year that Spain had approved the resettlement of 854 refugees from countries bordering Syria and planned to accept a total of 1,449 refugees over a two-year period.