Italy clamps down on asylum

Italy's government has approved tougher asylum laws. Among other measures the proceedings of applicants who are deemed to be "socially dangerous" or have been convicted of a crime are to be suspended. Commentators are furious.

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Il Manifesto (IT) /

Migrants being criminalised

The "Security and Migrants" decree is reprehensible, writes lawyer Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo in Il Manifesto:

“The title of Salvini's law alone betrays how repressive it is. ... What's more, it has none of the urgency that can legitimise resorting to a decree - which is an emergency measure. What we're seeing is a tendency to criminalise both those who save people at sea and those who are saved. At the same time migrants are not being offered any prospect of entering Europe legally. ... The key points in the decree represent an attack on people's recourse to justice and reject basic principles inherent to the Italian constitution.”

El Mundo (ES) /

EU partners shocked

No EU member state should reduce the issue of refugees and immigration to the aspect of security, El Mundo admonishes:

“The decree initiated by Matteo Salvini modifies the legislation on taking in refugees and reduces their humanitarian protection. Europe's democracies are obliged to regulate immigration in an orderly manner. Doing this by reducing the migration issue to a matter of security and criminalising foreigners is shocking behaviour on the part of a country that is a founding member of the EU.”

Mérce (HU) /

Rome has signed death sentence for refugees

Panama has revoked the registration of the rescue ship Aquarius at the behest of the Italian government. Mérce is shocked:

“The Aquarius, which is operated by SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders, was the last civilian ship still carrying out rescues of refugees in the Mediterranean. Since it began operating in February 2016 it has saved thousands of refugees from drowning. ... Although ever fewer people are fleeing to Europe the number of deaths is rising. And if the Aquarius is prevented from sailing that number will increase. By convincing Panama to revoke the ship's registration the Italian authority has signed death warrants for thousands of people and put short-term political interests above their compassion.”