Italy continues to solicit Europe’s help in confronting the immigration emergency, not only in terms of economic aid but also in terms of a plan for the distribution of the refugees among Member States.
“Europe has been totally inert in this period”, Minister Frattini asserted and, commenting on EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom observation that Italy had already received European funding for managing the influx, specified: “This is the typical expression of a European bureaucracy that thinks money alone solves everything”, but it is not enough, “there need to be policy interventions”.
According to Frattini, in addition to funds it is necessary to “invoke a European law clearly establishing the adoption of an extraordinary plan with any sudden influx of refugees toward one or more Member States, which includes the distribution of the refugees among Members within the temporary timeframe necessary to repatriate those who are not refugees, as in the case of the Tunisians, who are simply economic immigrants”.
"We are ready to examine specific requests" for assistance from Italy, was Commissioner Malmstrom’s announcement while visiting Tunisia. "We are in daily contact with Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and the Italian authorities – she added – and attempting to help arrange for orderly repatriation".
Italy’s accord with Tunisia for the containment of the emmigrant flows, the result of a recent mission by Ministers Franco Frattini and Roberto Maroni [Interior Minister], will be under the scrutiny of the Council of Ministers, who are meeting tomorrow at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. Frattini has urged the Tunisian authorities to uphold their part of the agreement, while Italian Ambassador to that North African country, Pietro Benassi, held a serried of talks with members of the government on the central theme of the accord by which Tunisia pledges to stem the tide of illegal immigration toward Italy. For its part, the Italian government has stated its willingness to provide both economic aid and equipment.