Two members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have called for Spain and Italy to build more migrant reception centres as the number of arrivals continue to increase.
CDU interior spokeswoman Mathias Middelberg and MEP Lena Düpont wrote a letter stating that there has been little progress in a possible European Union asylum system due to differences between member states.
The pair noted the recent increase in migrant arrivals in Spain and Italy and advocated for more reception facilities, with Middelberg stating that he would like to see rapid processing of migrants not eligible for asylum along with “immediate repatriation”, and economic programmes to migrants’ countries of origin, Spanish news agency Europa Press reports.
The letter has not been met with enthusiasm by some in Italy, such as national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI) MEP Nicola Procaccini.
Italy Plans More Migrant Reception Facilities After New Wave of Arrivals https://t.co/lX1ab0pjV3
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“The proposal to set up new and larger reception centres in Italy and Spain made by the two German Parliamentarians, confirms the European Union wishes to transform the nations closest to North Africa into gigantic refugee camps,” Procaccini told newspaper Il Giornale.
“And this is despite the fact that they themselves admit that in the vast majority of cases they are not war refugees, but economic migrants,” Procaccini added.
Over the last few weeks, both Italy and Spain have seen large surges of migrant arrivals, with Italy seeing over 2,100 arrivals in the span of just two days earlier this month and hundreds more arriving onboard migrant taxi NGO vessels operating off the coast of Libya.
As a result of the new influx, as well as contracts ending with ferry owners who allowed their ferries to be used to quarantine migrants to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, Italy is reported to have a lack of resources to deal with a large number of arrivals.
Spain Sends 6,600 Migrants Who Entered Ceuta Back to Morocco https://t.co/JBXt7Uf9yD
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Spain, meanwhile, saw an even greater number of migrants illegally cross into its territory this month with over 8,000 migrants arriving in the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta from Monday to Wednesday of last week.
Spanish authorities later stated that they had deported at least 6,600 migrants back to Morocco over the weekend. Hundreds of others have also attempted to cross in Spain’s other North African enclave Melilla in recent days as well.