Tag Archives: illegal migrants

Cannes festival contaminated by politics

The Cannes festival 2019 demonstrates a further shift of the VII Art into politics, being used as a tool to shape political preferences of the spectators, abandoning even formal frame of neutrality, and preoccupation with artistic creations.

At the press conference introducing this year’s festival jury, its president Alejandro González Iñárritu, ceased an opportunity to criticize President Trump, and another jury member Alice Rohrwacher denounced film industry for failing to meet gender equality standards, and promote female film-makers.  Subsequently, the times of art uniting people are gone, contaminating the festival with toxic emanation of political struggle. From universal language of images, the film industry has openly transformed itself into a tool for political use, promoting agenda of specific groups of interest.

The first Mexican-born president of the Cannes jury,  Iñárritu, expressed concern at rise of populism, including Trump’s ascendance to power, and added that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US president’s anti-immigration policies.

According to Alice Rohrwacher to be a woman-film director is similar to “survival a “shipwreck”. However, in spite of being plagued with so many political concerns, the 72nd Cannes film festival gets underway with movies presentations.

Every year, the Cannes Festival invites filmmakers from all over the world to give their own interpretation of the contemporary world, sketching a world map of cinema. In 2018, more than 120 countries were represented.

Migrant vessel captain escapes imprisonment

The captain of a illegal migrants rescue ship received fine of €10,000  by a Maltese court, after being found guilty of intruding into national waters almost one year ago without respecting procedures for crossing state borders.

In issuing the fine, the court recommended that the funds be  used for charitable migrants causes.

The court is concerned by the level of rhetoric and racism surrounding this case and migration in Malta,” Joseph Mifsud ,the Magistrate, said in his ruling.

The magistrate also underlined they will not impose 12 month prison sentence, foreseen for this kind of illegal activities,  because the court “immediately understood the circumstances of the case”.

ClausPeter Reisch 57, born in Munich Germany, as captain of the vessel Lifeline,  was charged with entering Maltese territorial waters illegally and without proper registration, and a licence.

The MV Lifeline vessel was impounded by transport authorities of Malta in June 2018 after disembarking 234 illegal migrants it had according to their own words “rescued off Libya coasts“. Maltese politicians repeatedly accuse the NGOs of aiding people smugglers, contributing to existence of criminal networks.

The skipper, Mr.Reisch, as subsequently charged with operating a ship that was not registered for rescue operations.

Mr.Reisch gave an explanation to the court that his ship was logged in the Netherlands, but Magistrate Joseph Mifsud said documents supplied by the Dutch Registry clarified they did not recognize the vessel as registered under their flag.

The captain was granted bail on a personal guarantee of €10,000 euros and had to deposit his passport in court. Mr.Reisch was facing a maximum jail term of one year and an €11,600 fine, or a combination of both.

The ship was removed from the custody of the court, but it is unclear what further procedures would be applied.

The court case, and fine do not hinder in any way the activities of the NGO, which is determined to continue, and recruits people to fulfill the mission of transporting illegal migrants from Libyan costs to Europe: “Join our crew too! Apply for one of our rescue missions! “, says the ad of the Lifeline.

 

 

 

 

Liguria stops hotel funding for migrants

The Italian region Liguria decision, backed by the centre right and opposed by the centre left, the 5-Star Movement and left-wing parties, excludes hotels and hostels that hosted migrants under the SPRAR system from getting funding for tourist revamps.

Subsequently Liguria stops funding hotels that hosted migrants over the past three years, according to a League decision approved by the regional council in Genoa.

The rule was approved by 16 votes to 11.

An average price for accommodation in Liguria amounts to €50 a day, imposing on local community to cover costs of €1500 a month per person per each migrant.

The main reasons to visit Liguria is natural beauty (51.4% of Italian and foreign tourists), cultural heritage (45.3%), followed by food and wine interests (21.6%). For foreigners in particular there is a strong desire to visit unfamiliar places (29.1%). Foreign tourists also tend to pay attention to the quality/price ratio (29.5%). For Italians the main motivations are easy accessibility of the destination (47.5%) and proximity (36.3%)

The average per capita expenditure for accommodation is €52 euros per day for Italians. €49 euros is the expenditure for foreigners. Both are almost the same as the regional average €50.

 

MEPs endorse stronger corps of border guards

Members of European Parliament have approved the proposal to assign to the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027 to strengthen the security in Mediterranean. 

Europe’s external borders have seen an unprecedented rise in the numbers of illegal migrants and refugees wishing to enter the EU in recent years. The plans,adopted by MEPs during April Plenary will see the EU agency equipped with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027. The standing corps will consist of staff members employed by the agency as well as staff seconded on a mandatory basis by EU countries. 

“You have to be fair with those who deserve protection, harsh with those prey on the vulnerable and firm with those who seek to break the rules” the rapporteur Roberta Metsola (pictured above), the rapporteur said.

The critics of the measure say the measure is superficial and does not address the problem of the illegal migration in a meaningful way. Often articulated promises to apply  different approach to people who have right for asylum, and those who don’t are largely exclusionary, because it is impossible to trace their identities in principle.

African population is largely following verbal traditions, and has no custom to issue documents at birth. According World Bank 500 million Africans have no birth certificate and have no information on date of their birth, including day, month, year. This phenomena became notorious in Europe, when young men were successfully claiming to be minors, but there were no legal mechanism to establish their age. Subsequently in absence of population register in SubSaharan Africa the promises to make difference between different categories of illegal migrants crossing Mediterranean, are totally illusory.

The opponents of Roberta Metsola insist that at present shape the Coast Guard Agency is designed to accommodate illegal migrants plans to enter Europe safely, however it does not serve the interest of the European nations, some of which, like Italy, were overwhelmed by the influx of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

NGOs attack Castaner over collusion with smugglers

My comment on the role of NGOs is unambiguous. […] I have never questioned the sincerity of NGOs”, said French Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner in a video posted on his Twitter micro blog, while ensuring that his statements, concerning NGOs were based on “facts“.

It is documented that in some cases there have been de facto interactions between smugglers and some NGOs,” he said, citing “two Frontex reports in November and December 2016“.

On April 12, while ensuring that NGOs “play a vital role in providing assistance to migrants” in the Mediterranean, Christophe Castaner had considered that they “could be accomplices” smugglers and had called them to “have a responsible attitude“. The SOS Mediterranean Association sent him a letter denouncing “serious accusations“, assuring that none of these allegations “has ever been proven or substantiated by the slightest evidence” and that “none of the judicial proceedings initiated did not succeed“.

Our enemies, our real enemies, our only enemies, are the smugglers. The smugglers, and nobody else“, also underlined Christophe Castaner, who denounced the reactions of indignation coming from the NGOs.

Greece faces migrant unrest at borders

Greece urged crowds of illegal migrants who have gathered in the fields along the country’s northern border to return to their initial settlements, otherwise they could face sanctions. (Photo above: illustration).

Migrants equipped with smartphones started to arrive at a field next to a camp of Diavata near the border with Northern Macedonia on April 4.

By April 5  morning there were more than 100 tents pitched in the field, presumably provoked by spread via social media information of plans for an organized movement to cross Greece’s northwest land border with Albania in early April. There were children seen among migrants, who showed up next to the border.

In Athens, a group of some dozens of migrants squatted on the tracks of the capital’s main railway station shouting “Germany!” and “Open the borders.” Several more were at the station under heavy police presence.

Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas appealed to the migrants at the border to return to the accommodation centers.

It’s a lie that the borders will open,” he told Greek state television ERT. “In international treaties, there are obligations but there are also sanctions”.

Mr.Vitsas expressed hope that those who came to the border upon their own initiative would leave by night, without any risking further escalation.

Social media has already reported clashes between marching migrants and Greece police.

Italy keeps ‘jus soli’ for migrants children

Italian citizenship for immigrant children, known as ‘jus soli‘ (‘law of the soil’), “isn’t in the government’s contract” Premier Giuseppe Conte said, but added that he hoped for a “calm reflection” of the issue in “the appropriate fora“.

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio rejected the idea that the government would discuss jus soli. “It won’t be a measure that this government discusses, also because there’s already a law in Italy that regulates citizenship,” Di Maio said commenting on the suggestion of Conte.
The reflection hoped for by the premier is a personal feeling of his,Di Maio underlined.

At present a child born of an Italian parents receives Italian citizens by jus sanguinis, so does a child born in Italy of unknown or stateless parents under ‘jus soli‘, meaning Italy practices mixed system as many other EU states.

The jus sanguinis principle has positive influence on the prevention of statelessness: children born to European nationals anywhere in the world don’t run risks of being stateless.

The right to a nationality is not directly addressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, however the European Court (ECHR) uses the other tools to deal with the issue, as the right to respect for private and family life.

Citizenship is a serious thing and comes at the end of an integration path, it is not a ticket to the Luna Park”, Matteo Salvini said, facing a weighty problem of 600,000 foreigners who illegally remain in Italy. Pointing at this challenge, he rejected the attempts of center-left to reform the laws that regulate the Italian citizenship of the children of immigrants .

The European Convention on Nationality (ECN) indicates minimum standards for the protection of individual rights in the context of acquisition and loss of nationality.

While the ECN allows states to require that the children of immigrants in this case are residing lawfully on the territory of a state, but this condition is not regarded under the 1961 Convention, postulating the states need to grant nationality also to undocumented children born on their territory.

Iceland and Republic of Macedonia (Northern Macedonia) are European countries that have ratified the ECN without having ratified the 1961 Convention, and therefore on legal grounds require a residence permit of stateless children born on their territory before granting them access to nationality.

 

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