Mahdi does not want to receive immigrants from Italy

Belgium will not respond to Italy’s request to accept designated migrants, says Minister of State for Asylum and Migration Sami Mahdi (CD&V).

Italy has called once again for the distribution of migrants who have set foot in Europe to the member states of the European Union. Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese spoke about the matter on Wednesday with European Commissioner Ylva Johansson. In recent weeks, hundreds of migrants have arrived every day on the Italian island of Lampedusa. This mainly concerns people leaving by boat from Tunisia or Libya and hoping to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. According to the Italians, 30,200 migrants have already arrived in Italy by boat this year.

Belgium’s Minister of State for Migration, Sami Mehdi (CD&V), says he does not want this request approved. Dedicated transport of boat migrants to Belgium is not the right approach. We have to stop putting out fires. But there is already an urgent need for a European Charter for Asylum and Migration. A charter that better manages migratory flows, through a clear check of the external borders, accompanied by a solidarity mechanism.

“A fair question”

Therefore, Mehdi believes that Italy’s request for solidarity and better management is justified. But according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, our country is already “very solidarity” in Europe.

By way of comparison: the number of asylum applications in Italy this year was 12.94 per million inhabitants. In Belgium there are three times as many. Cyprus and Greece receive the most asylum applications in Europe.

“We are not against the transfer,” the Mahdi’s spokeswoman said. We have already received migrants from Greece when a fire broke out in Moria camp on Lesvos. If a country that has to process many of the same asylum applications encounters an emergency situation, we will always intervene.

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Denton Watson

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