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Milan demo; Matteo Salvini

Italian prosecutor blames collusion between smugglers, charities for migration crisis

According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), some 182 000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Italy during 2016, another record year, because, an Italian prosecutor says human traffickers might be colluding with NGOs.

Published: May 4, 2017, 9:03 am

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    This figure only includes those who were officially registered either by Italian officials or NGOs and not the massive wave of migrants who had gained illegal access.

    The vast majority of foreigners in the EU are illegal, undocumented immigrants, because during 2016, only 2.65 percent of those immigrating into Italy were awarded asylum as refugees, or 4 808 cases.

    Leader of the Northern League political party, Matteo Salvini, announced that he would bring a case against government leaders for promotion of illegal immigration into the country.

    “It is now clear that illegal immigration is organized and financed and for this reason we have decided to bring a case against the government, the President of the Council, the ministers and the commanders of the Navy and the Coast Guard,” Salvini said.

    A famous Italian prosecutor publicly accused rescuers of “colluding with human traffickers” in order to undermine the country’s economy. Carmelo Zuccaro, told Rai 3, a state-owned TV channel that NGOs from search-and-rescue missions are encouraging illegal immigration from Libya.

    Zuccaro is a heavyweight in Italy, fighting organised crime. He has handed down life sentences to some of Italy’s most infamous Mafia crimes.

    In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper on Friday, Zuccaro said the allegations came from credible sources and urged politicians to take action immediately. Salvini praised Zuccaro and said that NGO employees involved in the search-and-rescue missions “should be arrested” and their ships “sunk”.

    Last year Salvini complained that parts of Italy’s most populous city ware now “neither Italy nor Europe” as a result of the “organised invasion” in Milan. “I walked around Milan this morning and some areas of the city are neither Italy nor Europe. They are totally controlled by immigrants.

    “The problem is to block an organised invasion that is producing the ethnic cleansing of Italians and Europeans. In a year we’ll be talking about hundreds of thousands of people arriving.”

    Half of the migrants arriving in Italy, some 90 000, never bothered to request asylum, and disappeared as undocumented immigrants, known in Italian as “clandestini”.

    Two-thirds of the remaining 90 000 migrants who had applied for asylum, had their petitions rejected unconditionally. Another 21 percent were awarded “humanitarian protection,” enabling them to remain in the country, and 14 percent more were given “subsidiary protection”. Despite the fact that the vast majority of immigrants into Italy were denied asylum, fewer than 5 000 were deported in 2016.

    The first quarter of 2017 registered a 30 percent increase compared with the same period in 2016. Italy received another 8 500 migrants in a single weekend over Easter.

    More than 140 000 migrants were housed in Italian shelters last year, a seven-fold increase on 2013, with the migrant now crisis in its third year.

    Salvini told The Express that current slightly stricter measures of document verification by law enforcers were not enough: “The problem is that if a thousand immigrants arrive daily, and they only expel one person per day, those checks will never be enough.

    “Arrivals should be stopped because dealing with the people that are already here is worrying and more than enough. If they continue to arrive, spot checks on refugees will not be useful.”

    Marco Minniti, the Italian interior minister said thousands migrants have been put on flights home in April 2017, mostly to North African countries, including Tunisia – a 24 per cent increase from the same period last year in a bid to save face.

    Meanwhile in Germany, an economics professor confirmed that two-thirds of refugees pouring into the EU are illiterate, without the ability to find work, thus sabotaging the country’s economy.

    Ludger Woessmann, a professor of economics at the University of Munich, told German magazine Zeit 65 percent of Syrian refugees fail to meet international standards on basic reading and writing skills, which may force unemployment rates and demand for social welfare to rapidly go up.

    “With two-thirds regarded as functionally illiterate in accordance with international educational standards, so the necessary training to run local businesses is mostly missing,” Woessmann says.

    “We have to prepare ourselves that the majority of young refugees will fail three-year training courses that contain a high level of theory,” Woessmann says. “Seventy percent of trainees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq who started training two years ago have already dropped out.”

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