Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has demanded that the European Union (EU) take new actions to enact economic sanctions on those who aid illegal migration into Europe and across national borders within the union.
Kurz said that he wanted to see the political bloc do more to provide consequences to those who allow and facilitate illegal migration saying, “There are too few sanctions in the European Union, for example against those who run through the debt rules or allow irregular migrants to pass from one state to another,” Il Giornale reports.
“If the member states continue to let illegal immigrants enter Central Europe and do not comply with their obligations, clear sanctions are needed,” Kurz added and said that the EU must also give more support to countries on the EU’s external border such as Spain, Italy and Greece.
While Kurz stressed the need to end illegal migration across the Mediterranean and end the drowning deaths of migrants, he said there was still a need for the EU to take in legitimate refugees saying, “we must provide assistance on the spot and improve integration programs in Europe, to bring the weakest of the weak who come from war zones here.”
EU to Increase Border Guards By Nearly Ten Times https://t.co/xQlC8SybCn
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In Italy, several politicians are facing consequences for boarding a migrant rescue NGO vessel belonging to the organisation Sea Watch back in January when the ship was harboured in Syracuse with 47 migrants on board. The politicians face a 2000 euro fine for boarding the vessel before doctors were able to inspect the health of the migrants on board.
The Sea Watch incident, which saw the migrants not being allowed to disembark the ship initially, has been regarded by some as “kidnapping” on the part of populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini with attempts to bring him to trial over the incident failing earlier this year.