Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-02-03-Speech-2-331"
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substitute; Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (including Libya) (2007-03-14--2009-07-13)3
"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, yesterday Mr Maroni announced that one had to be unkind to illegal immigrants, but for days and months, Mr Maroni has been practising unkindness towards migrants whose position is irregular. I say this because the Lampedusa emergency, the so-called Lampedusa emergency which has now lasted for 10 years – therefore it seems to me to be a bit of a pleonasm to go on calling it an emergency – was desired and created by the Italian Government. In fact, by choosing Mr Maroni, the government made a decision not to allow any more migrants to leave Lampedusa. The Centre for Temporary Stay has had at least 1 800 people shut up in there without the government arranging for any of them to be transferred. They are held in such inhumane and degrading conditions that the centre exploded into a true democratic emergency. Now I believe that this is the true Lampedusa emergency, that is to say, the need to establish a sort of juridical free zone, a place where migrants would enter and be deported without each case being examined individually. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees states that at least 75% of those who arrive by sea in Italy and gain the right to asylum request it. Thus, if Mr Maroni’s practices were put into effect, the migrants would probably not have the right to asylum since they would immediately be deported directly from Lampedusa in accordance with the wishes of the Italian Government. Hence, there is a genuine emergency and the cause of it is Italian government policy. The citizens of Lampedusa have become aware of this, Mrs Muscardini. Indeed, they have carried out a general strike against the government, against its immigration policy, in order that the centre for immediate expulsion from that place – the centre for identification and expulsion – should not be opened. They have also asked the Italian Government to modify its position on the Centre for Temporary Stay. It is good of Commissioner Barrot to go to Lampedusa in the next few days and I appreciate this. I have prepared a dossier and sent it to Mr Barrot. In the next few days, my group, too, will organise a delegation that will visit Lampedusa."@en1
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