Italy P.M. Demands E.U. Cuts for Refugee Resettlement Refuseniks
Italy’s prime minister called for E.U. funding to be cut to members refusing to receive refugees. Matteo Renzi said shirkers must share responsibility with front-line states.
“It’s necessary that Italy be the promoter of a very tough position toward those countries that have received a lot of money for belonging to the bloc to relaunch their territories,” Renzi told parliament, adding, “and who are shirking their commitments to relocate immigrants.”
The comments came ahead of a two-day summit of E.U. leaders beginning October 20. A substantial part of the bloc’s trillion-euro budget consists of financial transfers to less developed areas.
These areas include nations such as Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which have pushed back against a quota system to distribute refugees and migrants arriving in the E.U.
“The positive aspects of belonging to the E.U. must be balanced by the duties that come with membership,” Renzi said.
Italy has 39,600 refugees awaiting relocation under an E.U. quota plan. So far only 1,300 have been moved. Greece has 66,400 also awaiting relocation but so far only 4,600 have moved, official data shows.
Militia Attacks Fleeing Villagers in CAR
Thirteen displaced people in the Central African Republic have been killed in a militia attack. The villagers, already forced to flee earlier fighting, were targeted by the largely Muslim Seleka militia.
Thousands of refugees have been sheltering in Kaga Bandoro in the remote north of CAR near a U.N. base. When the militia attacked, hundreds of panicked IDPs (internally displaced persons), including a Catholic priest, ran to the peacekeepers for protection.
Hundreds of thousands of people in CAR have been displaced since 2013, when the Seleka militia toppled the president and sectarian fighting broke out all over the country.
German Police to Investigate Syrian Suspect’s Suicide
Germany is investigating the apparent suicide of a 22-year-old Syrian man granted asylum in the country. Jaber Albakr, suspected of plotting a major terror attack, took his life while in a police cell.
The fate of Albakr has stirred up both anti-immigration hard-liners and refugee activists in Germany. Already a fugitive, he was arrested on October 10 after being identified and tied up by fellow Syrian refugees who alerted the police.
Some German politicians have called for his captors to be awarded a medal for their role in thwarting a potential attack.
Meanwhile, Albakr’s apparent intention to carry out a bombing – a suicide vest was recovered during a police raid – has been cited as evidence of an Islamic radical fifth column in the refugee population.
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