Germany against taking migrants to other EU ports

Italy to be 'firm' in migrant ports discussion, Minniti

07 July, 12:03

    The flagship rescue Responder  vessel taking part in a MOAS operation  (archive) The flagship rescue Responder vessel taking part in a MOAS operation (archive)

    TALLINN- German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Thursday that Berlin was against the Italian proposal of taking asylum seekers saved in the Mediterranean to the ports of other EU states to share the burden. "We do not support the so-called regionalization of the rescue operations," de Maiziere said as he arrived at a meeting of EU interior ministers in Tallinn.

    Italy is demanding more help from its EU partners with the asylum-seeker crisis, saying its capacity to cope is at the limit. Over 85,000 migrants have arrived in Italy via sea so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    Belgian Asylum and Migratory Policies Minister Theo Francken said Thursday that "I don't think that Belgium will open its ports" to migrants saved in the Mediterranean as he arrived at the informal meeting. France and Spain have also said they will not open their ports to migrants attempting the crossing from Libya to Italy.

    European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said Thursday that, while the mandate of the Triton EU security and rescue operation in the Mediterranean was clear, Italy still needed help in coping with the arrival of asylum seekers. "The objective of Triton as it is at the moment is clear," Avramopoulos said. "But it is necessary to work more within the EU, and with our North African neighbours, to share the burden and ensure that Italy is not left alone.

    "The EU border agency will have a discussion with the authorities in Italy and the other member States involved on the operational level next week". 

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