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Berlin will no longer accept migrants from Italy

Germany has abandoned the European solidarity initiative because of Italy’s failure to fulfil its obligations to return migrants under the EU’s resettlement plan, Daily Mail reports.

Berlin offered its help to overloaded European Union countries and pledged to welcome 3,500 migrants. Under the scheme, which had been running since last year, the country had already welcomed more than 1,700 people, an Interior Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Germany said Italy had “for some time” stopped accepting migrants returned under the Dublin rules. Berlin has responded by stating it will “delay until further notice” its offer of support, which is a blow to European solidarity.

The Dublin Regulations stipulate that migrants must remain in the EU country to which they arrived first. Then they must return to the first point of entry if they plan to move to another country of the Union.

A Berlin representative said yesterday that this concerned more than 12,400 people, but so far only ten had been resettled in Italy.

Given the currently high migratory pressure of Germany, the ongoing suspension of Dublin transfers by some member states, including Italy, reinforces the major challenges Germany is currently facing in terms of its reception and accommodation capacity.

Currently, there is a record number of border crossings in Europe. The figure has increased by 13 per cent over the past year, with Italy being one of the most affected countries. More than 123,800 irregular migrants and asylum seekers have travelled there this year. This week alone, the number of migrants is more than 8,000.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who has taken a tough stance on migrant arrivals, cited the rising numbers as a key issue.

About 120 boats with 6800 migrants arrived on the shores of Lampedusa in 24 hours, starting on Tuesday, in search of asylum in Europe. This figure exceeds the population of the island by several hundred people.

The Interior Ministry said that by Wednesday morning, almost 124,000 migrants had reached Italy by sea this year. A record number of arrivals by sea was observed in 2016 and amounted to 181,400 migrants.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that the EU’s determination to manage the migration process requires “endurance and patient work with key partners.”

On Tuesday, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced tough new measures aimed at preventing migrants from sneaking from Italy into France. France plans to double the number of police and gendarmes, add 70 police reservists as well as Sentinel unit soldiers.

Darmanin supports the immigration bill, presumably aimed at responding to pressure from the French right and extreme right forces demanding tougher immigration policy.

The head of the anti-migrant league, Matteo Salvini, blamed Europe for Italy’s problems with migrants.

The boat landings at Lampedusa are the symbol of a Europe that’s not there, that’s so distracted it leaves countries to their own’ devices.

Migrants head mainly to border points with France, Switzerland or Austria. They hope to reach the UK, the Netherlands, Germany or the Scandinavian countries there.


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