Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

France and Germany take asylum seekers from Italy and Malta

September 26th, 2019

A pro-government columnist calls the agreement reached by the four Interior Ministers ‘a dishonourable pact’, while a liberal commentator thinks Hungary risks remaining isolated with her anti-immigration policies.

The Interior Ministers of Italy, Malta, France and Germany agreed that the latter two countries would take over half of the asylum seekers rescued recently from the Mediterranean by NGOs, who disembarked in Italian and Maltese ports. They also decided to put the issue on the agenda of the EU Interior Ministers’ Council, in the hope that further member countries will join. István Hollik MP, the spokesman of the Hungarian government said Hungary is ready to help repatriate illegal migrants but refuses to grant them residence permits.

Magyar Hírlap’s Mariann Őry finds it absurd to relocate thousands of people to distant countries only to process their asylum requests. It would be more logical to send immigration officers to Malta and Italy to do the job, she suggests. By insisting instead on sharing migrants among EU member countries, she argues, the governments involved are sending a clear message to potential illegal immigrants that it is worth attempting the journey. It is painful to see German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer – who a few years ago confronted Chancellor Merkel in an effort to curb immigration – side with such ‘a dishonourable pact’, Őry writes.

On hvg.hu, Viktória Serdült emphasizes that the migrant redistribution system the four countries involved are envisaging is voluntary. Several other countries, including Croatia, Ireland, Portugal and Finland have already declared their intention to opt in, she notes. With hard-line anti-migrant Italian Interior Minister Matteo Slavini ousted from his post, she continues, Mr Orbán is losing his strongest ally in his battle against an asylum-seeker redistribution agreement. The issue will remain on the EU agenda, she believes, as incoming EC President Ursula von der Leyen is bent on reforming the block’s refugee system. Thus, Serdült concludes, Hungary risks remaining on her own, with her anti-migrant stand.


Tags: , , ,