Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-119-000"

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"Mr President, in November last year, I had the honour of leading the delegation from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to Sicily and Lampedusa to visit and examine the centres for the reception of migrants seeking asylum. Prior to and following the visit, we asked the Italian authorities to provide us with information. This information was extremely meagre, if not to say entirely non-existent. Information and facts relating to the migration flows are important in order to be able to understand the events that occurred during 2011 and to ensure that the mistakes that were made are not repeated in the future. Non-governmental organisations have told us that Italian authorities under the previous government did not handle the situation on Lampedusa in a particularly humane way. The reception facilities for migrants on Lampedusa were extremely overpopulated for a long time. People slept in the open air over the whole island, while, at the same time, transfers from Lampedusa to Sicily were postponed and delayed without reason. This led to tensions and riots, which culminated in several buildings that were used for migrants being burned down, and the authorities decided to declare Lampedusa an unsafe port for migrants – not for fishermen or for tourists, but for migrants. We now need detailed information on what actually happened, and I would appeal to the Italian authorities and the Italian Government to now come back to Parliament with this important information and for the government to immediately declare Lampedusa to be a safe port for those having travelled on the Mediterranean. After all, we cannot accept the lives of even more people being put at risk. It is unacceptable for deaths to be occurring in the Mediterranean while we are here discussing this. We must now ensure that all Member States accept their responsibility and guarantee the safety of people’s lives. With that, I would like to thank you for the floor and to state once again that Parliament is accepting its responsibility and now it is Italy’s turn to do the same."@en1

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