Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italian refugee group praises pope's Lampedusa visit

English
© ANSA

(see related)
Rome, July 8 - The Italian Council for Refugees
(CIR) on Monday embraced the pope's memorial to migrants who
have died in the Mediterranean while seeking passage by boat to
Italy or Europe and endorsed the pontiff's "very stern warning
to policymakers and public opinion, condemning indifference".
Pope Francis made his first visit away from the Vatican on
Monday to Lampedusa, a southern Italian island which receives
thousands of migrants every spring and summer, who disembark
from the North African coast.
CIR estimates that more than 18,000 migrants have died in
the Mediterranean over the last 15 years.
"We are convinced that the pope's gesture, in addition to
its human significance and expression of solidarity, has a deep
political content that the Italian government and European
governments cannot ignore," said CIR President Savino Pezzotta.
"CIR renews its invitation to the Italian government and
parliament to change the Bossi-Fini law, to implement
Constitutional provisions on asylum and push the EU to take
charge of the problem," Pezzotta continued, making reference to
a 1992 law passed under a centre-right government led by Silvio
Berlusconi that provided for the immediate expulsion of illegal
migrants to their countries of origin or the detention of
unidentified migrants in holding camps.
The law provides for issuing visas in cases migrants prove
they have jobs waiting for them or have a right to political
asylum.

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