France Blasts Italy Over Immigration Policy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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France Blasts Italy Over Immigration Policy

Posted: Jun 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, on Monday, June 15, 2015, hit back at Italy over responsibility for migrants.

He advised Italy to abide by European asylum rules and that France would continue to turn them back.

Hundreds of African migrants are stranded at a border crossing in northern Italy, and Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, on Sunday called for a change to regulations.

He argued that after toppling Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011, the international community bore responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have since crossed by boat to southern Italy. Some 170,000 made the journey in 2014 alone, according to statistics agency, Eurostat.

But speaking to a French TV station, Cazeneuve said that Italy had to implement the so-called Dublin regulations, which assign most asylum seekers to the EU country they first enter.

“The Dublin rules must be respected. When migrants arrive in France that have been through Italy and registered there, the European law applies and that means they must be returned to Italy,” he told BFM TV.

“They do not have the right to pass and must be handled by Italy.”

Italy has long complained that its European partners are shirking their responsibilities and leaving southern Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece to handle the migrant emergency without effective support.

Under the Schengen treaty, free cross-border movement is normally allowed within most of the European Union, but France and other EU partners such as Austria have stepped up controls on migrants from Italy, turning back hundreds and leaving growing numbers camped out in railway stations in Rome and Milan.