Migrants: Mediterranean Caritas debate in Cagliari

Three day talks on refugee emergency and economic crisis

14 May, 15:42

(ANSAmed) - CAGLIARI, MAY 14 - The Caritas associations of Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Turkey and Tunisia meet those of Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Malta and Albania in order to speak of immigration and reception. Starting on Wednesday May 16 at the University College of Sant'Efisio in Cagliari will be three days of seminars, meetings and debates regarding refugee emergency and asylum requests within the context of the heavy financial crisis which has hit Europe.

The new Archbishop of Cagliari, Mons. Arrigo Miglio, said during the presentation that "we are invited to avoid seeing the situation as an emergency, as was also pointed out during the last Social Week in Reggio Calabria. This meeting is not an isolated event but is part of a mechanism which aims to improve and increase the approach towards reception". It is a topic which will be talked of also from a bureaucratic point of view.

The director of Caritas in Cagliari, father Marco Lai, said that "in this moment in Sardinia we have about 500 people asking for asylum from Libya. Of these, 300 must still be heard from the National Commissions. And again: we have a decree for receiving refugees valid until December 31 2012 but we don't have the budget for it". This is a topic which will be dealt with in depth especially on Thursday 17, the second day of talks, with Mario Morcone, head of the chamber for the Ministry of International cooperation and integration.

There are 38 thousand immigrants in Sardinia and of these, Father Lai highlighted, a third are in the Cagliari province. In the last few years there have been many illegal landings but the numbers are far inferior to those in Sicily. He added that "Sardinia has been chosen as the venue for this meeting because contrary to Sicily, this is a land where these topics can be handled without the constant issue of having repeated immigrant landings".

During the first day, on Wednesday 16, the Caritas of Maghreb plus those of Libya and Turkey, will meet to discuss the situation regarding the effects of the crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. In the afternoon a debate is scheduled between the European Caritas associations. The second day will give room for a public conference with dozens of guests, titled "Present and Future of migration in the Mediterranean Area". Friday the International Commissions will be at work on the asylum issue, legal integration and health. Friday afternoon closes with a presentation by two researchers from Cagliari regarding Reception Centres for immigrants. (ANSAmed).


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