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Italy: Other countries can't force us to accept immigrants

Staff Writer |
Italy said its decision to shut its ports to hundred of migrants aboard a charity ship was firm.

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“We will not change (our position) on ships belonging to non-governmental organizations,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“Ships belonging to foreign organizations and flying foreign flags cannot dictate Italy’s immigration policy,” said Salvini, who is also head of the anti-immigrant League.

Italy’s rejection of a migrant ship is shameful but the responsibility lies with Europe as a whole, U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi told Reuters.

“It is shameful. As a European I felt shame — shame — that there was a boat — there is a boat — in the Mediterranean and for several days nobody wanted to take these people,” he said.

“It’s very clear that Europe needs to reform its asylum system in a collective manner, there’s a lot of resistance to that but there’s no other way.”

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