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    Migrants carry a woman who was injured during minor clashes with Croatian riot police at Maljevac border crossing between Bosnia and Croatia near Velika Kladusa, Bosnia, October 24, 2018

    ‘Europe Never Produced Strategy Towards Migrant Problem’ – Journalist

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    According to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, his country will follow the US and Hungary in backing out of a UN agreement on migration.

    Sputnik discussed the impact of Austria's withdrawal from the UN agreement on migration with Fulvio Scaglione, an independent Italian journalist and writer.

    Sputnik: How does Austria's withdrawal affect the pact and its purpose?

    Fulvio Scaglione: The first country to retire from the agreement was the USA; and that had a very big impact on the agreement because other countries, like Austria and Hungary, started to follow suit. It's a sign that very much is changing in the approach to the migrant problem and to so-called "sovereignty." It means that countries and political parties who are very concerned about the sovereignty of their own countries are trying to affirm that sovereignty in every way they can.

    And tackling the migrant problem is the easiest and most evident way to affirm or reaffirm the sovereignty of a country — [if] you close borders and frontiers, you're saying that you own the destiny of your own country. So, this is the usual, thinking about the last years, fragmentation of Europe. The migrant problem really is a profound European problem; not the economy, not the politicians themselves, but the approach to the migrant problem is dividing and, probably, disaggregating Europe.

    Sputnik: Increasingly more countries will be suggesting amendments to the migration issue; and Italy proposed amendments also. How were the Italian concerns taken by the EU?

    Fulvio Scaglione: The migrant problem has touched Italy for many years. And Italy and Greece have been left alone by Europe. But then the Northern European countries reached an agreement with Turkey; Europe is paying Turkey to keep the migrants in Turkey and not let them go farther towards Europe. Italy has been left alone; and when the new government came to power, they simply closed the port, the harbors and now no ship is allowed to land. Italy is saving migrants at sea, but it's not letting them stay in Italy anymore.

    The problem is that Europe has never produced a strategy towards the migrant problem. When Merkel in Germany said "Okay, we are taking one million Syrians," she was not thinking about Europe, she was thinking about the German economy. Germany is losing population, they need new workers. But in countries, like Italy, where you have 35% of young people unemployed, it's very difficult to say "we need foreign workers" if you don't employ your national workers, your young citizens.

    READ MORE: Migrant Caravan Approaches US-Mexico Border (VIDEO)

    So Europe is disaggregating itself about this issue, which is not, as many continue to say, a cultural issue — we don't want foreigners because they are changing the nature of our country — no, it's the economy. The migrant issue is just showing how divided Europe is and that Europe is not producing any European strategy for the future.

    Sputnik: Do you think that it's likely that the pact will actually be changed to suit all of the requirements that have been proposed by the existing countries?

    Fulvio Scaglione: The so-called New York Declaration, which is at the basis of the agreement, is full of ideals and good propositions, but the goals are very important, maybe too important. The problem is that if you want to reach some result in regulating migration, of course, you have to reaffirm all these principles regarding the countries who are receiving the migrants; but this is the tail of the problem. The origin of the problem is in Africa; and if you don't work and if you don't have a strategy for developing poor countries in Africa, for helping African countries to have good governments, and for helping these good governments tackle the problem in Africa, you'll have no results in Europe.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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