giovedì 24 aprile 2014

Immigration should be better shared across EU, says Schulz

EP president says parliament must deal with youth joblessness

(ANSA) - La Spezia, April 24 - Member States in the European Union, including Germany, should better share in the distribution of migrants across the continent, Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said Thursday. He added that his homeland of Germany must also take a greater share of newcomers to Europe.

"On the issue of immigration, we definitely need a European solution," Schulz said on the sidelines of celebrations ahead of Liberation Day, marked in Italy on Friday. "We will have to share distribution in Europe," he said. Germany has taken in refugees, but southern States such as Italy, Spain and Greece, "are in a difficult situation," he said. "I will say to my fellow Germans that Germany must make a contribution".

Immigration is a sensitive issue in Italy, which is on the front lines of waves of illegal migrants fleeing North Africa and the Middle East for Europe and who first arrive on Italy's most southerly shores. Last week, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that to date this year, more than 20,500 migrants have already landed on Italy's coasts - an enormous increase over the 2,500 reported during the same period in 2013. Since he spoke, hundreds more have arrived heightening the concerns for Italy about the cost of rescue missions and emergency migrant shelters.

Meanwhile, Schulz also said that next month's European Parliament elections will be an important gauge of the power of euroskeptic forces, adding that he understands why many voters are feeling frustrated by lingering economic weakness and high joblessness. In particular, "youth unemployment is dramatic and we need to do something about it immediately," he said.

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