As Europe struggles to agree on how to deal with the thousands of migrants arriving on its shores, Hollande showed support for Italy in dealing with the influx. “It is not because Italy is in the South of Europe that it should together with Greece and Malta, be the (only) ones to make an effort for the benefit of all. It is not Italy’s duty to take care of this operation and this mission, other countries are to be concerned,” he announced at a press conference.
While Renzi took aim at an EU agreement which means that migrants must be processed in the first state they entered, which currently puts a lot of pressure on countries with a Mediterranean coastline. “Let me be clear, I do not think that signing the Dublin agreement was a good idea, especially for Italy, but I’m not interested in creating a controversy within my country against the political party that was then in the government,” explained Renzi.
The so-called “Dublin regulation” states that “asylum seekers” must be processed in the first EU country in which they land.
For many European countries including the UK, Dublin is a key tool in a regime of tough border controls, allowing refugees to be deported back to Europe’s southern border countries where they first entered the EU. Countries such as Italy and Greece, with minimal welfare provision for refugees, receive the most Dublin returns each year because so many of the asylum seekers who land there do not wish to stay. To the men in this hot, dark room and to thousands more who attempt to beat the system each year, Ireland’s capital city is a dirty word. “Dublin is a virus,” Awet says. “Yes, Dublin is like Aids.”
So how is France going to help Italy out? It’s not:
Behind the rhetoric the issue of sharing responsibilities remains visible along the French-Italian border, where many African migrants turned out in Ventimiglia to protest against France blocking them from crossing the frontier.
What a mess.