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Dannhauser, Claudia

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Die Presse - Austria | 24/02/2011

Only themselves to blame for migrant problems

The collapse of public order in Libya is stoking fears of a new stream of immigrants from Africa. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reckons with between 200,000 and 300,000 extra migrants. Yet Europe itself is partially to blame for this scenario, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse writes: "Many Europeans, especially the Italians and Maltese, wouldn't be so stupid as to do a dirty deal with Gaddafi. The Libyan dictator has openly demanded billions of euros from the EU in exchange for keeping economic migrants from the Maghreb countries in Africa and away from the EU. We're forced to ask how naïve and vain politicians can be to have seriously hoped that this ruthless blackmail would bring them lasting advantages. ... But the basic problem lies elsewhere: virtually no country makes a clear distinction between refugees and immigrants. Virtually no politician is prepared to admit that when it comes to controlled immigration they have been sleeping for decades."

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