Domenica, 15 Settembre 2019
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Bavaria minister slams Italy on refugees


Berlin, August 22 - Interior Minister Angelino
Alfano on Friday declined to comment on a German politician's
criticism of his alleged failure to stick to EU law on asylum
"It is rather barefaced that...(Alfano) should on the one
hand complain about the heavy burden deriving from the arrival
of refugees across the Mediterranean while on the other, he is
not concerned with respecting European regulations on asylum
matters," said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, who
is from the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), the smaller
sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic
Party (CDU).
Alfano recently said Italy's Mare Nostrum migrant
search-and-rescue operation would stop, and the European Union's
border agency Frontex should step in to cope with an influx of
asylum seekers from North Africa, many originally from Syria and
The EU has replied that Frontex is currently too small to
take over the task.
Hermann, in an interview with DPA news agency, also accused
Rome of deliberately ignoring standard refugee procedures, such
as fingerprinting, in order to allow individuals to leave Italy
and seek asylum in other countries.
"Italy in many cases intentionally does not take personal
data and fingerprints from refugees to enable them to seek
asylum in another country," he said.
He went on to say that European norms call for "the country
of first entry (into the EU) to be responsible for asylum
procedures," and Italy is receiving EU funds for this purpose.
The Bavarian politician also cited what he called
"discrepancies" in official numbers.
While Germany in 2013 processed over 126,000 asylum
requests, Italy only racked up 27,930, against a total of 60,000
refugees that reached Italy last year, according to United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) figures.
UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres said in March that out of the
industrialized nations, "Germany is the one that takes in the
most refugees".
For this reason, other EU members "can rightfully ask Italy
to show solidarity in respecting the joint European asylum
system that Union countries have agreed on," said Herrmann.
"We have no comment," Italy's interior ministry replied.
"The remarks were made by a regional minister, not a German
government minister".

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