Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has acknowledged that Germany is unable to accommodate any more migrants and expressed his understanding of Italy’s call for help. He emphasized the need for an effective EU-wide redistribution mechanism to address the issue of immigration.
During an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, President Steinmeier discussed the recent increase in immigration and its impact on the relationship between Berlin and Rome. He praised Italy for its humanitarian responsibility towards refugees and stated that they should not have to face the crisis alone. He acknowledged the requests for help coming from Italian cities but pointed out that German cities are also struggling with the same challenges.
President Steinmeier highlighted the heavy burden both nations are facing due to immigration, as he mentioned the significant influx of migrants from the eastern borders, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. He revealed that 162,000 people had claimed asylum in Germany in the first six months of the year.
In light of the situation, the German president called for fair distribution across Europe and proposed the establishment of a permanent solidarity mechanism. He also stressed the need for stronger controls at the external borders of the European Union.
Last month, Germany temporarily suspended the practice of admitting migrants arriving via Italy, according to reports from Germany’s Die Welt. The decision was made after Italy consistently refused to comply with the Dublin Regulation, which states that the first participating country where asylum seekers arrive should process their applications.
Die Welt reported that Italy informed other EU member states in December about the temporary cancellation of migrant transfers back to Italy due to capacity issues. This suspension has remained in effect since then.
Italy’s Interior Ministry reported in August that the number of illegal migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea had increased by 115% in comparison to the same period in the previous year, with a total of 89,158 successful crossings.
In conclusion, President Steinmeier acknowledged the challenges faced by Italy and Germany due to the influx of migrants. He called for a fair distribution system among European countries and emphasized the importance of stronger border controls. The temporary suspension of admitting migrants via Italy reflects the tensions surrounding the Dublin Regulation and Italy’s capacity to handle the additional influx. The situation highlights the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address the issue of immigration at the EU level.