SHAFAQNA – The Italian Interior Minister said Italian municipalities need to enforce a directive for migrants to work without pay.
Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told a conference on Thursday that local governments should apply a controversial government directive according to which migrants could work without pay.”We must ask the municipalities to apply our directive, which allows migrants to work for free,” said Alfano, speaking at a meeting with Italy’s local mayors, whose regions are reluctant to take on the burden of more migrants.
“Rather than letting them sit around doing nothing – make them [the migrants] work.”
In addition to the work proposal, Alfano said that the government was seeking “an equal distribution [of migrants] among the countries of Europe and the regions of Italy.”
Alfano’s comments come amid growing unrest about the growing numbers of migrants in Italy, which is often their first port of call after crossing the Mediterranean Sea from unstable regions in the Middle East and North Africa.
Italy reported 170,000 migrant arrivals in 2014, a fourfold rise on the previous year. The projected arrival of as many as 200,000 migrants to Italy this year creates a “very difficult” situation, said Mario Morcone, head of the Department of Immigration in the Interior Ministry.
In the past week, more than 9,000 migrants arrived in Italy. Last month officials said the numbers of migrants who entered the country in the first two months of this year rose 43 percent in January and February of 2015.
Morcone told Italian television that the proposals for migrants to carry out “community work” such as environmental projects would “create a better rapport and more acceptance” for migrants in Italian society.
On Monday the Italian coastguard said more than 6,000 migrants were rescued from unsafe boats off the coast of Libya and brought to the country’s southern ports after people smugglers took advantage of calm seas and mild temperatures to send illegal immigrants to Europe. The bodies of ten migrants were also recovered.