Italy: “We have a problem to support this text”, said the Italian Foreign Minister characteristically – “We are disappointed,” said the General Secretary of Public Order M. Karamalakis “Front” of 10 countries, including Greece and Italy, against Sweden’s proposal on immigration.
The ten countries on Thursday refused to back reform of the European asylum system at a crucial meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg, and negotiations continue to find a compromise solution.
“We have a problem supporting this text,” Italian Minister Matteo Piandendozzi said. Italy is asking that migrants who are not granted asylum be allowed to be sent back to their “safe” transit countries, even if they have no particular ties to that country. Germany opposes this idea.
Greece also opposed it. “Like Italy, we are not ready to give the green light,” said General Secretary of Public Order Michael Karamalakis. “We are disappointed because our concerns were not taken into account,” he added, referring to the issue of transit countries, according to the media.
Another Mediterranean country, Malta, announced it would abstain from voting on the compromise proposal presented by Sweden, which holds the presidency of the EU Council for the current six months.
Poland, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria and Slovakia also refused to support the proposal. Denmark and Latvia expressed their objections.
Today’s meeting in Luxembourg is considered “key” to the difficult negotiations on the European Pact on migration and asylum.
One of the proposals submitted by Sweden envisages mandatory but “flexible” European solidarity towards countries receiving immigrants. Member countries would thus be obliged to accept several asylum seekers (resettlement) from people arriving in an EU country under migratory pressure. Otherwise, they will have to provide her with a financial contribution.
The second text being considered by ministers obliges member states to put in place at the border an accelerated procedure for examining asylum claims for certain migrants who clearly cannot be selected for such protection because they come from a country considered “safe”. And this to facilitate their return to it.
The approval of the proposals is done by an enhanced majority, which means that the positive vote of 15 of the 27 countries representing 65% of the EU population is required. For this reason, the support of the Mediterranean countries, especially Italy, is considered crucial.