Rome, Nov 16 (EFE).- The Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Piantedosi, today accused NGOs of, with their presence, pushing migrants to cross the Mediterranean and urged a new European immigration and asylum policy because Italy he cannot “bear the entire burden of foster care on his shoulders.”
Piantedosi appeared in the Senate today to report after the diplomatic crisis that began with France regarding the management of the Ocean Viking, which is operated by the NGO SOS Méditerranée and which docked in the French port of Toulon after 21 days.
“The facts show how the Ocean Viking headed autonomously towards the French coast,” he said in this regard, before insisting that this decision “was never wanted by Italy” and “created friction at the international level absolutely not wanted by the Government” chaired by the far-right Giorgia Meloni.
While the humanitarian ships Geo Barents and Humanity 1 did dock in the port of Catania, from which a group of migrants was first selected who were able to go down although they all disembarked in the end.
“The presence of NGO boats continues to represent a factor of attraction, a ‘pull factor’” (push factor) for migrant flows and they are also important for criminal organizations that base their modus operandi on the presence of NGOs in the area,” Piantedosi said.
Numerous organizations have verified that the flow of migrants to Italy does not change when there are humanitarian ships at sea and that only between 10 and 15 percent of arrivals on the Italian coasts occurred after rescues by NGOs.
“It cannot be a private entity that chooses the country in which to disembark the migrants,” added the minister, who in previous statements urged the flag countries of the humanitarian ships to take charge of the management.
“A new European migration and asylum policy is needed that is truly inspired by the principles of solidarity and responsibility and that is distributed equitably among all the Member States,” added the Minister of the Interior.
The minister stressed that of the migrants who arrived in Italy, “117 were transferred compared to an availability of 8,000 expressed by 13 countries” and stressed that “Italy cannot bear the entire burden of reception on its shoulders.”
Regarding the immigration policy of the new Meloni government, Piantedosi stated: “We act with humanity and firmness, we have no intention of failing in our reception duties, but Italy is not entered illegally, the selection is not carried out by human traffickers”.
“There are 100,000 migrants in the reception system and the prefectures report saturation of places, availability and a critical situation,” Piantedosi said in his appearance.
And he added that so far this year, “there have been 69,000 asylum applications, 56% more than last year and that 57% of those examined were denied asylum. This means that the majority of immigrants who arrive to Italy are motivated by economic reasons and have no right to stay here.
He accused that “the voluntary form of the immigrant redistribution mechanism is not taking off” and added that Italy wants to “activate humanitarian corridors for vulnerable people, so that they also serve as leverage for the countries of origin and transit of the flows.” EFE
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Italy accuses NGOs of pushing migrants across the Mediterranean