George Soros says EU should compensate Italy over migration

Introduction — June 4, 2018

George Soros. Click to enlarge

George Soros. Click to enlarge

Given the fact the George Soros’s NGOs have actively encouraged the influx of migrants into Europe makes his suggestion that the EU should “compensate” Italy extremely cynical. In essence he’s calling for European Union taxpayers to compensate Italy for a problem he was instrumental in creating.
The Guardian however, pointedly ignores this. Instead it quotes the Hungarian born billionaire extensively, effectively providing him with a mouthpiece to promote his own agenda.
Yet according to French politician Bernard Carayon, George Soros’s Open Society and Washington-based US think tank “Migration Policy Institute” have published a joint report “Welcoming Engagement: How Private Sponsorship Can Strengthen Refugee Resettlement in the European Union.”
In effect a combination of billionaires, their own NGOs, un-elected EU officials and think tanks are working to reshape Europe at its most fundamental level, its citizens. If anyone were to compensate Italy over migration it should be George Soros himself. Ed.

George Soros says EU should compensate Italy over migration

Haroon Siddique and Lorenzo Tondo — The Guardian June 3, 2018

The billionaire philanthropist and financier George Soros has called for the EU to compensate Italy for migrants landing there, as the country’s hardline new interior minister made his first official trip a provocative one, to one of their main arrival points.

More than 1,750 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, three times more than 2014, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. Click to enlarge

More than 1,750 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, three times more than 2014, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. Click to enlarge

Matteo Salvini, the far-right leader of the League, travelled to the port of Pozzallo in Sicily on Sunday, with a blunt warning that migrants “should get ready to pack their bags”.

“Enough of Sicily being the refugee camp of Europe. I will not stand by and do nothing while there are landings after landings,” he later told a crowd in the city of Catania. “We need deportation centres.”

His visit came as at least 35 people were reported drowned off the coast of Tunisia, which has become a major departure point for migrants seeking to reach Italy. The Tunisian defence ministry said 67 others were rescued by the coastguard, and the search continued. Around 180 people were believed to be on board

As interior minister of Italy’s new populist government, sworn in on Friday, made up of ministers from the League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), Salvini has pledged to “send home” around 500,000 undocumented immigrants.

His plans have prompted alarm among migration experts and humanitarian groups, although they are also seen as highly unrealistic as Italy does not have resources to pursue mass deportations.

“I’m going to Sicily to see where the latest landing took place,” Salvini told reporters at the presidential palace in Rome ahead of the visit. “The good times for illegal migrants are over.”

The interior minister also described NGO rescue boats as “smugglers’ deputies” for their role in bringing migrants to safety.

Riccardo Gatti, head of the Open Arms rescue mission, predicted its work would become more difficult. “Salvini will not simply make worse the future of the people who save lives at sea, but the living conditions of the migrants,” he said. “Since I’ve started working at sea, dealing with rescue operations, I have seen how our work is becoming harder and harder.

“What scares me is not only Salvini. Let’s not forget about [Luigi] Di Maio and the M5S who called us NGOs ‘taxis of the sea’. They will try to stop us, I know.”

Writing in Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Soros said that the strong showing of the League, Italy’s largest right-wing party, could partly be attributed to “Europe’s flawed migration policies that imposed an unfair burden on Italy”.

He said that if the EU wanted to “constructively influence” the next elections, which he believes may be sooner rather than later due to the “uneasy” alliance between the coalition partners, it must address that burden.

“Until recently, most refugees could move on to northern Europe, where they wanted to go,” he wrote. “But since September 2015, both France and Austria closed their borders and the rescued migrants were stuck in Italy. This situation was not only unfair but also financially very burdensome at a time when Italy was economically lagging behind most other European countries. That was the main reason why Lega Nord, in particular, did so well in the recent elections.

“It follows from the voluntary principle that the problem … cannot be addressed by forced resettlement, but only by the EU financially compensating Italy for the migrants that land there.”

The controversial Dublin rule requires that would-be refugees must file for asylum in the first bloc member-state they enter, heavily penalising Italy, which has seen 700,000 migrants arrive – the vast majority from north Africa – since 2013.

The introduction of EU-backed processing centres to ensure migrants are identified at their first European entry point and tighter border controls installed by France, Switzerland and Austria have compounded the problem.

Salvini will be in Luxembourg on Tuesday for a meeting of EU interior ministers with the agenda set to be dominated by discussion about the Dublin rule.

Soros warned: “There is a strong inclination in Europe to use the occasion [of the new government] to teach Italy a lesson … If the EU follows this line, it will dig its own grave by provoking a negative response from the Italian electorate, which would then re-elect Movimento 5 Stelle and Lega Nord with an increased majority.”

The Hungarian-born hedge fund owner’s generous backing for charities helping migrants, and support for the EU’s resettlement plan during Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis, brought him into direct conflict with ultra-conservative, rightwing governments.

Continues …

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