A group of illegal migrants rescued from the Mediterranean in July by NGO vessel Aquarius have been re-homed in Fundao, a small Portuguese town 260 km north of Lisbon. (Image above: illustration, Fundao region),
The group of 19 migrants from Eritrea, Nigeria, Yemen and Sudan arrived in town to receive integration course, including classes in Portuguese language, and necessary skills to enter labor market.
“The arrival of this group of migrants is a result of Portugal’s commitment to solidarity and European cooperation on migrants,” the government statement said.
These days Portugal joined with Spain, France and Germany in offering shelter and future to 10 people from this week Aquarius arrival with the 58 illegal migrants on board.
The Portuguese unemployment rate fell to 6.7 % in the second quarter of 2018, while youth unemployment rate of those aged 15 to 24 is estimated 19.4%.
Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini articulated that his country is “no longer the doormat of Europe”, while commenting on repelled migrants transported to Italy from Libyan coast by Aquarius NGO vessel, and the proposal of Spain to host them. Salvini also said that Spain can also host “another 66,000” migrants who stay in Italy now.
“Finally the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and even the Spanish are listening to us,” Salvini underlined. The minister said he would seek to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests are rejected and work on a plan for Africa featuring development interventions to reduce migrant flows.
Reportedly Salvini demanded the Netherlands to recall Dutch-flagged ‘rescue’ ships of open borders NGOs, like Aquarius, insisting Italy refuses to be complicit in “illegal immigration business”.
According to French President Emmanuel Macron, the EU lacks solidarity and efficiency concerning migration. He underlined that the European borders must have better protection, whereas the mechanism of granting asylum must be unified. French president further pointed out that Europe’s response to migration crisis was outdated and reform was needed.
The meeting between the new Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte and the French president was jeopardized by a war of words following Rome’s decision to repel vessel #Aquarius carrying some 600 illegal migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.
During the press conference after the meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, French President Emmanuel Macron noted that talks of “axis” countries on migration are a reminder of “Europe’s unfortunate past history,” referring to the earlier remarks of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that German, Austrian and Italian interior ministers form “axis” against illegal immigration.
As a possibility Macron and Conte offered to establish asylum processing centres in Africa, to prevent people risking their lives when crossing Mediterranean.