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EU to pay $7,000 for each rescued migrant

Refugees are seen after the arrival of the Coast Guard ship "Bruno Gregoretti" at Naples harbour on October 23, 2016 [Alessio Paduano / Anadolu]
Migrants are seen after the arrival of the Coast Guard ship "Bruno Gregoretti" at Naples harbour on October 23, 2016 [Alessio Paduano / Anadolu]

The European Union (EU) is willing to splash out over $7,000 per migrant taken in by member states, but the proposal is being received with mixed feelings, the Financial Times reported today.

The European Commission’s proposal released today seeks to create “controlled centres” for migrants entering member states that are willing to grant permission to stay. The proposal includes paying governments for up to 500 migrants rescued from each boat stranded at sea.

The financial incentives come after migrant rescue boats were prevented from docking in Italy. However, Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini said: “If they want to give money to someone else let them do so, Italy doesn’t need charity.”

Italy’s new anti-establishment government has been working to put pressure on the European Union to re-write its immigration rules.

“We want to stop the inflows in order to clear the backlog of hundreds of thousands of people. We are not asking for money but for dignity and we are recovering it with our own hands”, Salvini continued.

But there is hope as Spain has already taken in some 1,200 migrants, rescued from stranded boats in the past week. A smaller number of boats have been taken in by the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Malta.

According to the Financial Times, the EU is looking to influence Italy to take on a more proactive role in retaining migrants.

EU states have so far remained hesitant to create “controlled centres” in their countries. As a compromise, the EU has even suggested temporary “control centres” be established. Italy has shown the most opposition to the proposal and is sporting the idea of preventing migrants from entering Europe.

Some suggestions have arisen that “disembarkation platforms” should be created in North Africa, but the upcoming EU28 conference will make clear that platforms cannot resemble camps or prisons. The platforms are to assess migration cases and deal with individual and family cases.

READ: Migrant charity files manslaughter complaint against cargo ship, Libya

Libya, Egypt and Algeria and a number of other north African states have already refused to host such centres.

No non-EU country has come forward to create platforms in return for EU-led support. Yesterday, Tunisia refused to rescue a boat holding some 40 migrants unless aid is provided for them, according to the Tunisian Red Crescent.

The migrant crisis in the Sahara - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The migrant crisis in the Sahara – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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