No country can handle migration alone, says Italian PM

Italy's Premier Giuseppe Conte

Rome,  No single nation can cope with major migration flows unaided and the “complex phenomenon” must be managed at European level, Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday.

“Immigration is a complex phenomenon, that no one can claim to solve single-handed,” Conte told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview.

The current surge in migrants arriving in Italy from Tunisia aboard small boats away from the media glare is “insidious” and difficult to fight, he underlined.

“We are facing a phenomenon of organised crime, which always seeks new methods of making money,” Conte stated.

Italy will continue to press the European Union to coordinate migrant patrols in the Mediterranean and to relocate migrants more effectively within the 28-member bloc, he said.

“We need coordination to manage patrols of our waters and coastline and for a more efficient mechanism to redistribute among European countries those migrants that come ashore.”

Italy also needs to step up expulsions (of failed asylum-seekers or migrants denied international protection), Conte told Corriere della Sera.

“We must make repatriations more hard-hitting,” he said.

Conte also highlighted the issue of secondary movements, when migrants head for second country, flouting the EU’s so-called Dublin Regulation requiring them to claim asylum in the first country they arrive in.

“European countries are concerning about the problem of secondary movements and this is also an issue we cannot disregard,” he said.