12:54 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Italy is Not a Refugee Camp in Europe - Journalist

    © AFP 2019 / Taha Jawashi
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    The continued rejections by the Franco-German ‘union’ of Italian proposals for new redistribution policies, and faster repatriation once again show that the migrant issue is used to bend Italy economically and politically.

    Each new clash over migration policy between Italy and the Franco-German block demonstrates that there is inconsistency in united European principles as dictated by Brussels, and that has become an instrument of hegemony for Paris and Berlin. Thus we see migrants exploited to bend the political and financial will of those who haven't adapted to the dictates of the Macron-Merkel tandem.

    Illustrating the depth of the clash is a rather harsh letter in which Interior Minister Matteo Salvini voices unwillingness to participate in the meeting of EU Interior Ministers on Monday 22 July, in Paris.

    "Italy is no longer a refugee camp for Brussels, Paris and Berlin. And it's no longer willing to welcome all the migrants arriving in Europe", Salvini wrote in his letter.

    On 17 July, at the Helsinki Summit of Interior Ministers, Matteo Salvini presented the Italo-Maltese draft amendment to the Dublin Agreement that obliges the country of 'first arrival' to keep all illegal migrants.

    Migrants aboard the Open Arms aid boat, of Proactiva Open Arms Spanish NGO, react as the ship approaches the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The aid boat sailed to Spain with 60 migrants rescued on Saturday in waters near Libya, after it was rejected by both Italy and Malta
    © AP Photo / Olmo Calvo
    Migrants aboard the Open Arms aid boat, of Proactiva Open Arms Spanish NGO, react as the ship approaches the port of Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The aid boat sailed to Spain with 60 migrants rescued on Saturday in waters near Libya, after it was rejected by both Italy and Malta

    The Italo-Maltese proposal provides for the immediate redistribution of all irregular migrants in identification centres located in various European countries, and the start of negotiations between Brussels and the countries of origin that are considered safe (such as Senegal) for automatic repatriations.

    The draft also provides for new limits to the activity of the NGOs and new rules on rescue at sea, to limit favouring "illegal and uncontrolled" migration.

    Paris and Berlin immediately vetoed these proposals. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and his German counterpart Horst Seehofer demanded the ratification of the Dublin Agreement clause which names Malta and Italy as the only "safe ports" for those rescued in Libyan waters, and also the closest.

    Were Rome and Valletta to vote for that document, it would amount to recognising their status as obligatory landing points for all migrants arriving in the Mediterranean region. Matteo Salvini's "no" to that suicidal request was followed by his refusal to participate in the Helsinki and Paris summits.

    Italian border police officers escort sub Saharan men on their way to a relocation center, after arriving in the Golfo Azzurro rescue vessel at the port of Augusta, in Sicily, Italy, with hundreds of migrants aboard, rescued by members of Proactive Open Arms NGO, on Friday, June 23, 2017
    © AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti
    Italian border police officers escort sub Saharan men on their way to a relocation center, after arriving in the Golfo Azzurro rescue vessel at the port of Augusta, in Sicily, Italy, with hundreds of migrants aboard, rescued by members of Proactive Open Arms NGO, on Friday, June 23, 2017

    The actions of Castaner and Seehofer are a blatant attempt to designate Italy and Malta as Europe's "refugee camps". These "camps" will receive absolutely all migrants thanks to the "safest" and "nearest" port rules, and in keeping with the Dublin Agreement, it will be impossible to repatriate them.

    There are obviously, political and economic reasons for the Franco-German efforts. Forcing Rome into a permanent fight against migration and the NGOs (the Ocean Viking and the French Msf and Sos Mediterranée are ready to resume their activities) means immobilising Italy, making it economically weak and politically ghettoising it.

    This is the perfect punishment for the only country whose citizens voted en masse against the rules of the EU, and against the will of Paris and Berlin.

    by Gian Micalessin, a commentator for Il Giornale newspaper, military reporter.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Matteo Salvini, Refugees, migration, Migrants, Migrant, Malta, European Union, France, Germany, Italy
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