Costa refuses national approach to migration “time bomb”

in News · 02-10-2020 01:00:00 · 7 Comments

Prime Minister António Costa has rejected any national approach to the problem of migration, which he considers to be “European”, in response to the PSD, when asked whether recent landings in the Algarve should be seen as “a time bomb” for Portugal.

“We have not been touched now”, said the Prime Minister, addressing Social Democrat MP Isabel Meireles, who asked him what measures he has planned to “halt the advance of these [migratory] flows that in the medium term could act as a time bomb for the country”.

The Prime Minister was speaking in Parliament during the preparatory debate for the European Council, which coincided with the presentation of the European Commission’s long-awaited proposal for a reform of European migration policy.

“If there have been signs of a new Atlantic route to Europe, this is a problem we have been facing from the moment the first migrant arrived, to any country in the European Union,” he said.

He added, “Because this is not a national problem, contrary to what Mr André Ventura thinks, it is a problem for the whole of the European Union and one to which we must respond in solidarity”.

“That is why we are in favour of solidarity in the distribution of candidates for international protection in the European Union and that is why we have already received around 350 refugees from Italy and 1,200 from Greece,” Costa said.

The Left Block and the People-Nature Party (PAN) highlighted the recent tragedy in Moria’s overcrowded Greek refugee camp, where a fire left thousands homeless, with the block activist Beatriz Dias Gomes denouncing the “insufficient response by the European Union” and PAN MP Inês de Sousa Real warning that efforts cannot be limited to “media tragedies”.

In his reply, the Prime Minister said that “the fire in Moria had barely begun” when he contacted his Greek counterpart to make himself available to receive “around 100 refugee minors immediately”, “20 of them unaccompanied minors”, a readiness which he also conveyed to the German Presidency.

But, he said, this is a sustained effort by the government, which has “voluntarily participated in all the ‘ad hoc’ reception operations that have been requested by Malta, Italy and Greece” and will continue “to participate in all”.

The new Migration and Asylum Pact, announced by the European Commission, aims to make it compulsory for all EU countries to show ‘solidarity’ with countries with high arrival rates, such as Greece, Italy or Malta, when the latter are ‘under pressure’.

The aid can take the form of relocation of asylum seekers to other EU countries, but also of ‘assistance for their return’ to their country of origin when they are refused asylum, the European Commission explained.



Comments:

Why don't you Portugexit?

By William from Other on 06-10-2020 05:23

Portugal is responsible for protecting its borders and controlloing immigration , and if the government refuses to do this then it should be declared illegitimate . The government is incapable of resolving the employment and poverty problems in Portugal , and should do this before allowing any immigrants into the country

By PG from Lisbon on 06-10-2020 02:09

Comments about the Prime Minister's origin do not help. He is just as Portugese as you. The governments of other countries have asked for help and that is what he is doing. In the UK they are desperate to see Brexit happen!

By Corina from UK on 04-10-2020 12:54

Si vous commencez à les accueillir, vous mettez en danger votre population (voir ce qui se passe en France et en Belgique).
Le gouvernement portugais a pour devoir de protéger sa population même si l'Europe lui donne de mauvaises instructions qui vont dans l'autre sens...

By Michel Schuermans from Algarve on 04-10-2020 08:57

If you don´t stop this illegal human trafficking Portugal will end up like Italy & Greece with over 100,000 economic migrants (not refugees) majority muslims and/or africans. The crime rate will skyrocket and then ruin the reputation of Algrave/PT as a safe destination. Act now decisevly like the Visegrad & Austria - protect yr borders!

By BoB from Algarve on 02-10-2020 08:28

What an idiot , so if he has problems at home he involves all his neighborhood and gives them a share of the blame,now ask why so many of my compatriots are moving right?Portugal should worry firstly about its citizens and secondly the rest of Europe and if there's anything left after some reserve to external aid in the migrants country of origin. Viva Portugal Viva!.

By Joao Carlos Bastos from Other on 02-10-2020 05:32

Really ? .It can be a European problem but if its on our coast its our problem ..this PM is a comedian but he doesnt convince me ..

By maria from Algarve on 02-10-2020 02:06
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.