Help for overburdened Italy?

France and Germany have promised to show "unflinching solidarity" with Italy in the refugee crisis. The two countries will do their best to honour their agreements regarding taking in refugees, France's interior ministry said on Sunday at the end of a three-way summit. The countries also presented a "code of conduct" for aid organisations. All just hot air, Europe's press concludes.

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Die Tageszeitung taz (DE) /

Rome must continue to cope on its own

The agreements sound like a lot but will change little, taz complains:

“Most NGOs have already made their balance sheets public, their operations are already coordinated by Italy's coast guard. Little will change as regards the distribution of refugees. … That leaves Italy's threat to close its ports to the NGO's boats if Sunday's agreements don't work out. But Italy will hardly be able to make good on this threat either. What would happen if it turned away a ship carrying hundreds of refugees, forcing it to endure an odyssey on the Mediterranean? Italy would immediately be put in the pillory. So the government in Rome can only be happy about one thing: once again, as so often in recent years, it received lovely announcements of solidarity, but once again it will in effect be left to cope on its own.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Swift deportation for economic refugees

Italy's refugee crisis demands a different approach to the one used two years ago in the Balkan states, Die Presse warns:

“Unlike two years ago, when most of the migrants coming to Europe were fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan via Turkey, today it is mainly economic refugees from West Africa. … As dismal as the economic prospects may be for young Senegalese, Gambians or Nigerians, this is not a reason for asylum. … Today the question is not how to distribute these people within the EU, how to give them material first aid, access to swift legal proceedings and a way to be integrated in their new European home. The task now is to send them back to their home countries as quickly as possible and deter them from making further attempts to reach the supposed paradise of Europe.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

EU narrow-mindedly clinging to rules

La Repubblica criticises the EU's insistence on preserving the Dublin Regulation:

“The wave of refugees on the Balkan route already called the agreement into question and put Greece under unbearable pressure. Back then the EU was spared from facing reality thanks to Angela Merkel's unfortunate deal with Erdoğan's Turkey. The Europe of human rights suffered a major blow, but the Dublin regulations were left intact. The explosion on the Libya-Italy route is now reviving the problem - with dramatic numbers that lay bare the EU's inability to abandon rules that are not suited to the reality of the situation. … Behind this clinging to rules that don't stand up to the facts is a narrow-minded conviction that reality must adjust to the rules, rather than the other way round.”