Feb 24 2014
Italy is giving them 500 Euros and a train ticket to any other EU country they want to enter. Why aren’t they being sent to the rich Gulf Arab states? Europe doesn’t want them or need them and certainly doesn’t have the means to support all of them.
RT Italy demands an urgent shakeup of Europe’s asylum policies, as it bears the brunt of a large-scale inflow of illegal migrants from the Middle East and Africa. A leaked draft EU summit statement, however, promises no radical steps until June next year.
Under EU regulation all newcomers must seek asylum in the country where they arrive. And under Italian law anyone avoiding registration is sent home. That does not prevent newcomers from taking their chances of trying to stay unregistered until reaching an EU country with what seems to them better opportunities.
Italy and Greece are the most affected by the influx of refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. And that puts huge pressure on their economies, already burdened by recession. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso earlier acknowledged that Italy and Greece bear the brunt of the immigrants’ arrivals. He nevertheless pointed at the fact that most of the asylum seekers are eventually sent to better-off northern European countries like Germany, France, Britain, Sweden and Belgium.
Still, the number of the refugees has been increasing concurrently with the rise of anti-immigration parties all over Europe, putting the now much-needed extension of asylum protection to question. Meanwhile the migrants issue gets ever more pressing with 550 asylum seekers having drowned this month alone in the Mediterranean.
The EU promised Italy would receive an additional 30 million euro ($40 million) to deal with the refugee crisis. Italy and Greece would also like to see are new mechanisms to distribute the migrants more evenly throughout the Union and integrate them into the economy.
More than 32,000 migrants have arrived in Italy and Malta from Africa and the Middle East this year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Eurostat data suggests the number of asylum applications in Italy has increased by more than 100 percent compared to last year.
Phillip Claeys, an MEP for the Belgian Nationalist Party, believes that the only way to solve the problem of illegal migrants risking their lives to come Europe is dramatically change how we deal with asylum seekers. “We should adopt stricter policies because one of the main reasons why so many people are risking their own lives trying to cross the Mediterranean is that even when they don’t qualify as refugees, most of them can still be in Europe as illegal immigrants as they are not sent back to their countries of origin.”