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Seehofer: Germany to Welcome Europe-Bound Migrants Reaching Italy

Last updated on September 18th, 2019

The rise in the number of Europe-bound migrants has been catching pace for years now. With continuous reports highlighting coast guards catching Europe-bound migrants off-guard, the crisis has foiled to become a serious headache. However, Germany has now come ahead to share the burden and is ready to take in a quarter of migrants who reach Italy by sea, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in remarks published on Friday.

The moves signal a positive gesture to a southern neighbor ahead of the European Union (EU) talks on immigration this month. EU countries are also presently looking to reach a temporary accord on sharing out the care for migrants who reach by sea. The plan is scheduled to be discussed when Interior Ministers meet in Malta on September 23.

EU states have been at odds since a surge in 2015 saw groups of people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. “If all that has been agreed stands, we would be able to take in 25% of people rescued at sea and who end up in Italy,” Seehofer told the Sueddeutsche newspaper. “This will not overwhelm our migration policy,” he added.

Italy and Greece have long complained about the lack of an EU alternative to deal with immigrant arrivals. Even the efforts to solve the problem via quota system has remained unsuccessful because of resistance from eastern states.

As per the report released by the United Nation (UN), a total of 45,505 Europe-bound refugees have reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019. However, 859 of that number have reportedly died at sea.

The problem is recurring and the increase in numbers this summer has, thus, stiffened the relationships between the EU states and fellow member Italy. Former far-right Interior minister Matteo Salvini, showing his nation’s growing resistance, also closed Italy’s ports to boats rescuing the new arrivals in the Mediterranean.

However, the latest reshuffle in the Italian government has instilled some hope, especially after Salvini was replaced with Luciana Lamorgese, a specialist in migration issues.

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