Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has reiterated his refusal to NGO-run illegal migrant-rescue ships to dock.
The League leader was commenting amid concern about 49 asylum seekers saved in the Mediterranean by German NGOs Sea-Watch and Sea Eye who have not been allocated a port of safety amid a standoff.
Pope Francis in vain made an appeal to European leaders to “show concrete solidarity” in this case. Many Italian consider that their good will and hospitality were abused, while the majority of the EU counties did nothing to relocate migrants constantly arriving to Italian coasts from Africa.
Pope Francis urged European leaders on December 6 to stop arguing over the fate of 49 migrants stuck aboard two humanitarian rescue ships on the Mediterranean and to offer them a safe port to disembark. (Image: illustration).
With his comments at his address to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square at the end marking the feast of the Epiphany, Pontifex entered into a diplomatic raw between Italy and Malta.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has underlined that he is not going to transfer Malta into a hosting centre for illegal migrants who were saved by humanitarian vessels and rejected to disembark in the other ports.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini remined the Mayor of Naples, who is ready to accept NGO vessels with illegal migrants, that he has to respect the migrant decree. “Anyone who helps clandestine migrants hates Italians” he explains.
While a flow of migrants in two ‘caravans’ is moving through Central America in hope to settle in the United States, President Trump has issued a number of messages in his Twitter micro blog. The latest one is addressed to “advocates” of illegal immigration referring to European experience as a negative example. “…Take a good look at what happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they has that decision to make over again”.
The population left the crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 13 October. From there, the migrants walked on foot to Nueva Ocotepeque, and then crossed into Guatemala.
Their aim is to reach the United States where they say they want to start a new life away from the criminal gangs which control parts of Honduras.
But US President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to curb illegal immigration to the US, said he would not let the caravan cross into the US.
Keeping the promise is essential for reputation of his Republican Party at stake in the forthcoming midterm elections on 6 November.
Croatian police clarified the situation blaming circulation of false information that the authorities would open its borders letting in hundreds of illegal migrants and refugees gathering at crossings in Serbia and Bosnia, hoping to enter the EU via Croatia.
Some 400+ migrants gathered this week on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s border with Croatia, with a similar number accumulating on Serbian border with Croatia, local media reported.
Croatian police continues to announce that misinformation had been spread that the EU state would open its borders, however it has no effect on waiting crowds.
“Among the migrant populations on the territory of Bosnia and Serbia, false information is spreading that the Republic of Croatia will allow their entry into its territory as well as further passage to the countries of Western Europe,” a police statement said.
Local police and members of Bosnia’s border units were deployed to the Maljevac border crossing in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, where hundreds illegal migrants attempted to enter Croatia. At present no major incidents or escalation reported, but migrants continue to camp, awaiting for their chance, and small groups have already attempted to break through this morning.
There is a general public concern about the current developments in view of accumulating crowds of illegal migrants. An opinion prevails that without the EU assistance Croatian border control units will not be able to respond to the scale of the challenge.
One African illegal migrant died and three others were injured when a crowd of more than 300 people stormed the border fence separating Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco, the local authorities informed.
Hundreds of illegal migrants managed to scale the seven-meter high metal barrier and were taken to a reception center in Melilla where officials started the process of identifying them.
Home affairs ministers discussed a Commission proposal on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG). They expressed their general wish to strengthen the mandate of the EBCG, in particular on returns and cooperation with third countries. They also shared their views on the size, composition, tasks and powers of the EBCG standing corps, as well as on the timeframe needed to fully establish the corps.
On the basis of this discussion, work will continue at technical level.
There was a general agreement at the meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg that the supporting role of Frontex (pictured), including on returns and cooperation with third countries, needs to be further strengthened. Today we have made good progress on our way to get there by discussing a number of practical aspects, in particular the future mandate of Frontex, member states’ responsibility and the resources of the agency.
“There was a general agreement at the meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg that the supporting role of Frontex, including on returns and cooperation with third countries, needs to be further strengthened. Today we have made good progress on our way to get there by discussing a number of practical aspects, in particular the future mandate of Frontex, member states’ responsibility and the resources of the agency” Herbert Kickl, Minister for Interior of Austria.
Ministers discussed a Commission proposal reforming the return directive. They focused, in particular, on one of the new elements introduced by the proposal: the border procedure for returns, including its links with the asylum border procedure.
On the basis of political guidance provided by ministers, work will continue at technical level.
IMAGE above Marina Militare: Frontex vessel transporting illegal migrants to Italy
Italy will close its airports to unauthorised planes carrying migrants from Germany, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, stirring up a dispute between the EU members over responsibility for illegals, who apply for asylum.
The two countries have been working on a deal under which Germany would send back to Italy migrants who have already applied for asylum there, but the accord has yet to be signed.
Italian daily La Repubblica reported Germany‘s refugee agency had sent “dozens of letters” to migrants advising them of a planned transfer back to Italy, possibly via charter flights. The first transfer is planned for October, 9.
“If someone, in Berlin or Brussels, thinks of dumping dozens of immigrants in Italy via unauthorized charter flights, they should know that there is not and there will be no airport available,” Salvini said in a statement published on his Twitter microblog.