Rome, Aug 23 (IANS/AKI) Hundreds of a migrants will be relocated to Germany from Italy every month starting in September, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced on Tuesday. The resettlements are part of a controversial plan agreed at a European Union summit last year.
“Today we received news that from September onwards, hundreds of migrants will be able to go to Germany per month, ” Alfano told Italy’s web-based Repubblica TV after a meeting with his German counterpart Thomas De Maiziere.
Alfano attacked the voluntary scheme agreed at a Brussels summit last June to resettle across the EU a total 40,000 migrants who arrived in Italy and Greece, calling the scheme “the true flop of the European agenda”.
“We should remember that Germany opened its doors to a million refugees last year. So, if on top of these people, Germany can take some from us, this means that other countries can as well,” Alfano said.
A total of 95,000 migrants arrived in Italy in the first seven months of July, the same number as over the same period of 2015, according to data issued by the EU borders agency Frontex on 12 August.
Together with Greece, Italy is the main entry-point for migrants and refugees heading for Europe and has sought more help from its EU partners to handle the hundreds of thousands of people arriving by sea, many of whom are fleeing war and poverty in countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Afghanistan.
At the EU’s summit last June leaders also agreed to resettle another 20,000 refugees who are currently outside the EU.
More than three million people who fled the Syrian civil war are being housed in neighbouring countries – far more than the EU has taken in.