Swiss ready to help Italy with migrant influx

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga says Switzerland is ready to help Italy in coping with the influx of migrants to its shores. So far this year, more than 63,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

Sommaruga was in Milan on Tuesday for a meeting of European Union interior ministers to discuss migration issues. On the sidelines she held bilateral talks with Italian Interior Minister Angelo Alfano and said Switzerland was prepared to support Italy in the welcoming and registering of refugees.

During Tuesday’s meeting of interior ministers she called for greater solidarity from other European states and said it was not normal that five countries – Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden – handled three-quarters of all asylum requests in Europe.

“Switzerland is open to discussions on how the Dublin system evolves with the objective of a balanced sharing of responsibilities,” she said.
She added that the fact that all the refugees arriving cannot be properly registered was problematic and a risk for security across Europe, as people are entering Europe’s so-called Schengen space without their identities being checked.

Cooperation with other countries such as Libya was a priority for Switzerland, Sommaruga said.
“We cannot tolerate criminals taking advantage of human distress and playing with the lives of migrants,” she declared.

Record numbers

So far this year, more than 63,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea, according to UNHCR, surpassing the previous record of around 62,000 set in the whole of 2011, the year of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Italy – along with Spain, Greece and Malta – have been left mostly on their own to manage the growing number of migrants who seek to enter the EU in boats departing from North Africa, partly because increasing anti-immigrant sentiment in countries like Britain and France makes it unpopular to help out.

Most of the migrants who reached Italy by sea last year were refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war and Eritrea’s harsh military service, and the trend has continued this year, according to the UNHCR.
But more than 500 have died in 2014 trying to make the perilous sea crossing, including 12 on Sunday when their boat capsized off the coast of the Libyan Tripoli, the UNHCR said on Tuesday
Switzerland has agreed to take on 500 particularly endangered Syrian refugees in connection with a pilot project announced in September 2013. Since last autumn some 3,000 other Syrians have also travelled to Switzerland to seek asylum or stay with relatives. In 2013 some 2,500 Eritreans sought asylum in Switzerland.

Frontex role

On Tuesday Alfano repeated a call for Europe’s border control agency Frontex – to which Switzerland contributes – to take over Italy’s mission patrolling the waters between Africa and Sicily, known as Mare Nostrum or “Our Sea”.
The operation was launched last October, when 366 people drowned after their boat capsized just a mile from the Italian island of Lampedusa. Mare Nostrum has saved 73,600 people in eight months, or 270 a day.

After the meeting in Milan, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that she was discussing with Alfano what was needed for a “scaled-down” version of Mare Nostrum.
But she warned that Frontex alone would not be enough and that member states would have to contribute directly, and there was as yet no time frame for a possible EU substitution of Italy. and agencies

This boat intercepted by the Italian Navy on June 30 was carrying nearly 600 people - including the dead bodies of some 30 would-be migrants found in the hold. (Keystone)

This boat intercepted by the Italian Navy on June 30 was carrying nearly 600 people – including the dead bodies of some 30 would-be migrants found in the hold.

Categories: Europe, Italy, Italy, Switzerland

1 reply

  1. Europe is dying it natural death by aging population and low birth rate. Now the population would be replaced by Muslims.

    Did you forget how your white asses came on boats, robbed people of their wealth from colonies in East? And killed and tortured them? Did you ´integrate´ then? You Brits are-were nothing but thieves. Majority British population does not know its own history of crimes against humanity because your government there wants to regiment you with false propaganda and tell you bed time stories about your ´royalty´… who were, as I said, nothing but thieves.

    Whilst I agree that you have an immigration problem in this country, I don’t think that this is your main problem. Your main problem is the disintegration of the family unit and the loveless binge drinking environment that your children are growing up in! NEVER in my life have I seen another country where people so seldom give their children a hug and a kiss like in this country and NEVER in my life have I seen another country where there are so many children from different fathers growing up in single parent households! Before you tackle the immigration problem (at least the immigrants LOVE their kids) you should first look at yourselves!

    Why complain when it’s the British who first migrated into other lands enslaving those people? When it is a question on immigration, the feelings are so strong. I wonder why. Serves you right! Britain! When the British colonised the world, it was ok. But now when people from the former colonies and from other countries come to Britain, its not ok? Look into history and then you can cry because what goes around comes around. Don’t see why people have such a problem with mass immigration? It enriches our culture and boosts the economy! We have to stop looking at these people as immigrants and think of them as human beings. The immigrants are not to blame because they were invited and welcomed here by our successive government. We have quite large Spanish , French and Italian communities in Brighton and I believe it really enhances the place and adds to diversity of the City. Globalisation is here to stay. Britain colonised & some would say civilised half the world. It’s called Karma. Not so long ago British people colonized Asia, living like kings while locals suffering to no end. At least, these migrants do not enslave the Britons, so stop whining please.

    Without immigration, British society and economy would bleed to death. Immigration is a good thing. My main left artery was repaired by two Profs, one from Holland and one from Italy. The road is being repaired by lads from Armenia. The strawberries and fruit and veg counter are picked by summer migrants and as they pile up in the loading bay get driven away by British hauliers to British shops to be bought by British people. The immigrants plugging these little holes more than pay for themselves in multiplier effects on economic activity. Skills they learn here they take back to their homelands, who, if keen to keep skilled folk, would crack down on corruption and stop harassing small traders and people trying to make a living. The UK should be prouder, fearless and more welcoming. the Conservatives must lose their “perceived” hostility to immigration. They are the Party of the “Free Market”. to oppose the free movement of people is hypocritical. Multiculturalism has been around in these islands at least since the Anles, Jutes and Saxons came over and displaced the Celts. That was about 2000 years ago. Between then and 1950 immigration was slow. Since then it has become massive.

    Multiculturalism means different cultures living side by side, separately. We live in a multicultural world of mono-cultural countries. If only England becomes multicultural and other countries don’t, then the result will be a less multicultural world. Right next to the Over ground Station, a peek inside the Railway Tavern pub will reveal white locals in the front, black locals in the back room. This segregation is self-enforced; both parties seem to prefer it that way. The sight of such retailed segregation is uncomfortable, and off-putting. It inevitably reminded me of the ”separate but equal” facilities of late-Jim Crow 60s America.

    Many comments claim that the immigrants don’t integrate. Aside from the little interactions mentioned, how can integration occur? Doesn’t it need to be 2-way? How many of us are pleased to accept hospitality and gifts of exotic dishes offered by the ‘immigrants’ and yet don’t reciprocate? Difficult to have a truly ‘multicultural’ society when the core belief of many of those who inhabit one of those cultures is that all the others should be eradicated.

    Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one’s culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children’s alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grandparents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.
    London School of Islamics Trust

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