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Refugees are 'Italy's problem,' minister says

The Local · 11 Apr 2011, 08:04

Published: 11 Apr 2011 08:04 GMT+02:00

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As European Union ministers prepared to meet in Luxembourg Monday, an open argument between the European neighbours broke out over the weekend regarding the thousands of African asylum seekers arriving on the tiny Italian island.

“Italy must sort out its refugee problem itself,” Friedrich, of the Bavarian conservatives the Christian Social Union, told Monday’s edition of daily Die Welt.

At least 22,000 asylum-seekers have arrived by boat on Lampedusa - which is Europe's most southern point - since political upheavals began to rock North Africa in January, eventually engulfing Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Most of the asylum-seekers are from Tunisia.

Italy is arguing that the problem should be tackled by Europe as a whole and that it simply has the geographical misfortune of having the most southern-lying piece of territory. It has issued the asylum-seekers with temporary residency permits that allow them to travel to other EU countries.

On Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the situation was “not an Italian problem but a European (problem)," and even hinted at separating from the union.

“Europe is either something real and concrete, or it doesn’t exist. In that case, it is better if we separate and each follows his own fears and selfish concerns,” he said.

But under EU law, the country in which asylum-seekers land must deal with their refugee applications and their temporary residence while their claims to asylum are being assessed. At the heart of the dispute between Italy and other countries, notably Germany, is whether or not the asylum-seekers should be able to travel to other countries while they wait for their applications to be processed.

Story continues below…

Friedrich said he would make it clear at the Monday meeting in Brussels that Italy was breaching the spirit of the Schengen agreement that allows visa-free travel between many European states.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:33 April 11, 2011 by Kayak
Seems to me to be a great opportunity for the EU to show the world how enlightened European governments are in dealing with human suffering. Go Silvio!!!

The EU - "United in diversity"
08:53 April 11, 2011 by trash head
Friedrich the old crusader, what a disgusting bavarian, catholic dickhead.

A shame for germany.
08:58 April 11, 2011 by auniquecorn
Italy's problem?

Gentlemen, you're trying to negotiate something you will never be able to negotiate. If negotiated, it will not be ratified. And if ratified, it will not work." Thus spoke a British civil servant who was dispatched from London to Brussels to inform European ministers what Britain thought of plans for an ambitious new European treaty.

(All to True)
09:04 April 11, 2011 by DoubleDTown
Italy wants help dealing with its geographical misfortune. Does it feel the same way about the Amalfi coast? Gaeta? San Remo? Share the pain/share the wealth. Keep the wealth, deal with the pain....
09:43 April 11, 2011 by Angry Ami
Well that's good old Silvio for ya, of course if Brussels makes him an offer he cant refuse then it will be good, Godfather Silvio, it's all about the money, honey,

he know what he's doing, and he's got the upper hand anyway, if they pay him, then he will miraculously find a way to send the refugees back or at least not let them out of Italy,

he's slick and slimy.
10:02 April 11, 2011 by PawD
It's a real shame for Germany... when it comes to waging a wars and killing innocent people Germany is all set and ready... but when it comes to actually providing humanitarian aid and helping out the needy it backs out of helping its fellow EU nations!
10:19 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> helping out the needy it backs out of helping its fellow EU nations!

Ok, Frierich is a shame but the whole conservative gouverment was a shame until now and i didnt expected anything else as they took over the political power here but,

this is already too much of the bashing. Germany is the money sack, whenever other EU nations fail with their economy, unimportant if france, greeks, spain, poland or whoever - Germany pays.

The point is, that Friedrich made this statement and failed as diplomat. (Like all conservative idiots of the current Gouverment failed at this)

He is right, actualy it is italys problem. Italy has the capacity, but instead of making a scene and throw oil in the fire, it would have been better if he would have been made pressure on italys primes. I really dont know why we need to be the azzcroucher for everyone on this world, especially for failors like US. But with Ferkel, Schwesterwelle and Maizere or the last knight Friedrich, i dont wonder anymore abt anything.
11:38 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:45 April 11, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
I don't see the problem. Just turn 'em around and head back out to where they came from. Maybe some better transportation is in order perhaps but of course this won't happen anytime soon. Germany needs more bodies to keep labor costs down. The fact that indiscriminate immigration bankrupts society is seen as tomorrow's problem.
11:53 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:54 April 11, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
Well, Germany has been the leader of waging wars and killing people for the last century... it's hardly surprising now.
13:00 April 11, 2011 by Enkida
The problem with a lot of these refugees, as I understand it, is that they are not Tunesia's poor and destitute. Rather, they're the young, able-bodied and intelligent men who feel they could get better jobs in the better economy Europe has to offer.

And maybe they could, if they would be let in and allowed to work. But in leaving say, Tunesia, en masse, they're creating a brain drain in their home country. Of course the economy is bad from where they came, they just had a major political upheaval to overthrow a corrupt government, and I would bet the government is far from stable yet. But what these countries need right now is for their intellectuals to stay and help rebuild so the new governments formed will succeed and prosper, not to have their most capable citizens flee to better economic waters. Doing so almost guarantees that the new governments forming will either fail or turn radical to appease the poorer, less educated and less able-bodied who remain.

The way I see it, taking in masses of refugees who are not seeking POLITICAL asylum is going to hurt not only Europe, but also Africa in the long run.

Of course, you can always leave it to Berlusconi and other major political figures to be ignorant, insensitive, sensationalist asshats about it while ignoring the real problems.
13:01 April 11, 2011 by OkieinBerlin
way2cool, don't worry, everyone can see that you're definitely not an angry, hate-filled semi-literate racist.

Tell it like it is!
13:16 April 11, 2011 by trash head
quote way2stupid:

> ILLEGALS!!!!!!!!

When they have a VISA, how can they be illegals?

Does it mean italy commit a crime right now, giving these ppls stay permissions (VISA) ? O_O If so, what crime is it? Is it the same 'crime' as driving to fast on the roads in germany? xDD

>Look like the refugees are up and armed in this forum folks.

Muhahahah, world domination !
13:50 April 11, 2011 by Johnne
way2cool! way2cool! waaay2coool!!! how many times did I call you?? I´ve told you that you´re still gonna be banned from this forum! this is not an NPD chat website ok? listen to me, there´s an article about NPD being banned in Brandenburg!! you should worry about that and go and comment there so that they can at least spear you for a month or two and consider your apeal! and you promise the government that you and your gang members (NPD) won´t match on the streets anymore! move fast cos time is running way2racist!!
14:14 April 11, 2011 by Al uk
Just ship them straight back!
14:30 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:31 April 11, 2011 by trash head

They got VISAs so they arent illegal anymore. Also Asylum is not a criminal act as you say.

You should stop to make criminals out of everyone. Just like your bullsh!t as you said driving to fast is a crime in germany.

The who dont understand anything is you, not the ppl around here.
15:54 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:07 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> They got Italian temp visa you moron! Which means that their visas only good for six months in Italy only!!!

Italy is in the 'Schengen Abkommen', so theire VISAs give em the ability to travel through other Schengen nations too.

And btw. a Schengen VISAs duration isnt always 6 Months, this depends on the issuing authority. Minimum 3 weeks, maximum 6 Months. Check the Laws, but i realized this dont count to your best skills.

> The other EU countries can and will send their asses back to Italy if they were caught, you got it moron???

They cant do that easily and thats the problem.

The only chance is to use paragraph 13b. This give authories the chance to prevent ppl to enter a country if the financial situation dont allow it. That means, if they dont have a sponsor who is responsible for them during the duration of the VISA or if they dont have enough money to financiate the own travel back to theire homeland after VISA duration.

Also, you can save your punctuation marks, one is enough !!!!11111ELEVEN
16:17 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:30 April 11, 2011 by bramblebush
Ship the Tunisians to Lybia. Ship the Lybians to Tunisia. Problem solved.
16:32 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> So moron, tell your relatives to show their precious Italian visas to the French and German police!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry i dont need a VISA, my german ID Card ('Personalausweis') as well as my drivers license or my passport are enough to travel within the schengen nations.

pwnd :D
16:37 April 11, 2011 by francislee
I have recently returned form a trip to Rome and there are more than enough of these people there already. They don't do anything apart from hang around in large groups or try to sell illegal merchandise. I don't believe for one minute that the vast majority are asylum seekers, all they want is whatever they can get from welfare in whichever EU country they end up in. These people are not just Italy's problem, it is just unfortunate that Italy is the nearest country to Africa but after watching TV news bullitens whilst there, it is obvious they cannot cope with the sheer numbers arriving on a daily basis. I can't see many wanting to go to Germany, the vast majority will want to come to my country where they will get housing, benefits, education, healthcare and the rest. My country, if you really need to ask, is Great Britain, the country which gives anyone from anywhere everything that they want at the expense, and to the detriment, of it's own citizens.
16:42 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> They don't do anything apart from hang around in large groups or try to sell illegal merchandise.

These are the italiens itself :D
17:07 April 11, 2011 by tallady
This is the EU now,,immigration with in member states is part it. It is like a sh--t sandwich , Germany ,France ,England all the members are going to have to take a bite.The demographics are going to continuously change as they have in other immigrant nations. The so called "Purity" will soon be a past tense term in nations like Germany. This could be for the better but either way it is the future.
17:14 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> The so called "Purity" will soon be a past tense term in nations like Germany. This could be for the better but either way it is the future.

When had germany the last time "purity", 33 - 45 ?
17:18 April 11, 2011 by tallady
When??? today ,yesterday and every other day that I can remember for the last 10 years..
17:24 April 11, 2011 by trash head
Maybe we speak of something else, because the last 700 years germanys was a mix up of cultures and religions, what leaded to the current constelattion of federal states, state typical language dialect, food and architecture and yeah, the ppl itself.

When germanys something never had and still dont have, then it is "purity".

But yeah, as i said, maybe we speak of different "purity", could you define it ? I speak abt cultural, religios and ethical backgrounds.

Whats your definition of "purity" ?
17:38 April 11, 2011 by tallady
Trash head Having a family book, a linage here in Germany,

I am married to a German and there is a cohesiveness between those that are purely German. I have found that to be German,it is through genetics not through nationalization.

I would assume by the way you use English that you are not a native speaker.May I also assume you are German?
17:49 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:56 April 11, 2011 by trash head
> May I also assume you are German?

Yes, as all my family members. Also a rich famaily history here.

Sry for my bad english, but i guess its possible to understand me and my points :0

> He is a black refu can't you tell?

Blonde, 1,81m greenblue eyes, white skin, rich famaily history, Hamburg, softwaredev.

The perfect Aryan. But Unfortunately not with the Nazi spirit.

Disappointed ?
18:02 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:04 April 11, 2011 by tallady
OK trash head,,I was not attempting to demean you concerning your English ,only an observation. Your English is not bad and it is understandable.
18:05 April 11, 2011 by trash head
How come you know ?!
18:11 April 11, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:24 April 11, 2011 by trash head
Yeah i realized your lucky beggar. if you only would have the same amount of luck when you comment on the topics.

it wouldnt turn out that emberassing for you.
18:50 April 11, 2011 by wenddiver
Who cares wherever they end up in Europe Germany will pay the the bills thanks to the EU. Besides they look ready to become Berliners.
18:57 April 11, 2011 by Johnne
The funniest thing in all these is that @way2stupid oh! way2cool is not even German:-D he himself is an a son of a refugee! funny world hahahahaha!
19:03 April 11, 2011 by willowsdad
Hmmm. Is Europe planning to scrap open borders between member states? If the reufugees can make it to Italy, they can make it to Germany.
19:06 April 11, 2011 by Ludinwolf
way2cool wrote:

Who are you kidding? These will not end up in the work force, they will end up in the welfare offices and we all are a bunch stupid sucker infidels that going to pay like we always have!!! You don't see what is going on here in europe already?


I greatly feel for these ppl. I really do. But what you said is what i also think and will compliment.

Making these ppl LEGAL wont help. They need more than a passport, they need an education then another cultural education, or better saying a western way OF THINKING. We are westerns and still have problems living in Germany sometimes, due the cultural differences, now imagine how that ppl will suffer here too, wont adapt, wont learn the language and will turn into thugs not cuz they wished, but it will the only way that would make sense.

these ppl arent used to wake up early in the morning, going to uni or work, socialize, say 'excuse me' when touching others.... is another rhythm of life,,,, is a matter of time for them to collapse morally.

I feel sorry for the mess their dictator did in their country, but housing them up here, doesnt make much sense. Instead, an agreement with Gaddafi should be reached ... in fact, today Gaddafi said be willing to negotiate.

Is like a family trying to nurse every baby found abandoned in the orphanages....this is not fair on the children at home!

tax payers are sweating heavily at the moment already to deal with this world politicians mess and all this oil and gas mess.
21:37 April 11, 2011 by bramblebush
I went to Italy for holiday in December. It was lovely.
04:31 April 12, 2011 by Altdude
What a shameful bunch of comments. Shameful.
05:40 April 12, 2011 by belladons
Minister Friedrich is correct, this is Italy's problem. Germany and other nations but protect itself from this crazy ideology of illegal immigration. When dealing with illegal immigration issues, Italy remains passive. Italy hides under the umbrella of immigration problems in EU policy and will never support these policies. All it takes for people of other lands to immigrant to other nations is to legally apply for nation citizen status. Many comments are correct on this story. The illegal immigrant will not assimilate into German society. The trend is this: they will rape the economic system, Germany will raise taxes as it condones this behavior thus increasing the hatred for illegal immigration in EU policy among the masses. An example of this is the failure of immigration policies in the U.S. i.e. Mexicans jumping the border from Mexico into the U.S. Germany and other nations must protect itself from this inconceivable illogical thought.
10:46 April 12, 2011 by OkieinBerlin
belladons, why is it that most legitimate studies of "illegal immigrants" show that immigrant communities acutally contribute overall to local economies? Your sweeping, misleading, hysterical (and often incoherent) statements don't stand up to any scrutiny. They make you look like an uninformed ranter.

bramblebush, you're just pathetic. Next time, stay home.

I suggest that all these paranoid immigrant-haters just stay home, polish their guns and forget about the outside world. It's pretty clear that you don't understand much about it. Global demographics change -- that's history. Your crybaby rants won't stop it. Find some healthier interests.
11:35 April 12, 2011 by LiberalGuy

well put.
11:46 April 12, 2011 by belladons
LiberalGuy, I would expect an answer from someone such as you who embraces extremist liberal principles that's really meant to destroy the good of building a cohesive civil society.

OkieinBerlin, sorry pal but I am very informed. Sorry that I do not side with your frame of thought. When you're finished researching the topic, then we can have intellectual debate on how the numbers stack up when comparing emotions with reality. Until then, cease the personal attack and turn to intellectualism for once in your life.
12:03 April 12, 2011 by LiberalGuy

You got all that from 'well put'?

maybe you should read your above response to OkieinBerlin, about personal attacks
14:36 April 12, 2011 by willowsdad
For once I agree with OkieinBerlin.
18:54 April 12, 2011 by ngwanem
Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your chocolate is Swiss. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your ne......ighbour is an immigrant?

Copy if you're against racism!
20:15 April 12, 2011 by OkieinBerlin
belladons, 30 minutes of research turned up a pile of numbers that show how much immigrant communities contribute to local economies as well as national economies. You should be able to find them yourself. And I won't apologize for condemning racist attacks or offending those who launch them.

And yes, I suppose you might consider my anti-racism "extremist liberal" -- but for you to call for a little "intellectualism" is a joke. When you put forth a little research, a reasoned argument and some meaningful conclusions, then we can debate.

I wonder if you are an American or know anything about the history of that country -- where for about 300 years or more immigrants of all sorts, of different races, ethnicities and cultures, have managed to cobble together a fairly successful civil society, thanks to "extremist liberal principles" that you seem to detest. But maybe you hate that country because it is an immigrant-society success story founded on Liberal principles.
10:46 April 13, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Bramblebush and Belladons have the right idea here, this kind of immigration is having a deleterious effect on europe. Hordes of cheap labor might be good for business but they're self evidently lousy for europe's quality of life unless your only standard is how cheaply goods and services are available. I've seen those people out on the street bramblebush speaks about and they are just the tip of the iceberg of the social chaos to come if conservative europeans aren't able to effect a change in immigration policy soon.
17:19 April 14, 2011 by tallady
@OkieinBerlin,Excellent point and as you indicated the demographics will change but this can and in most cases has a positive effect on the host country. Thankyou.
23:51 April 15, 2011 by Curmudgeon
- A visa is not a guarantee to enter a country.

- Most "refugees" these days are not political refugees, they are economic refugees.

- Refugees are supposed to go to the nearest "safe" country. Algeria is closer than Italy.

- Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have higher standards of living than virtually everywhere else on the planet.

- It is natural for people with a lesser standard of living to want to move to a higher standard of living.

- Overpopulation is a massive problem in 2nd and 3rd world countries. The carrying capacity of the land to support the population has been breached.

- Supporting massive immigration to Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand creates a strain on the carrying capacity in those areas, but does nothing to reduce the problem in the areas/countries whence the immigrants came.

- The European immigration to all of the above named countries was a response to overpopulation in Europe.

- An Italian has more in common with a Finn than a Tunisian.
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