Migrants, mayor Ventimiglia: “Continuing war for security and forced coexistence with citizens”

Di Muro on MSF report: “Situation is resolved on European tables and with international agreements, humanitarian reflection is needed”

“Being mayor in Ventimiglia is a continuous war to try to make the city livable and improve the forced coexistence between residents on one side and migrants on the other”. The mayor of Ventimiglia, Flavio Di Muro, speaks to Adnkronos. Today is the report by Doctors Without Borders on the inhuman conditions in which migrants find themselves between France and Ventimiglia, stuck in a limbo of missing permits between France and, precisely, the Ligurian municipality.

“There is a readmission agreement which provides that our border police take charge of the migrants whenever the French hand them over – he explains – This leads to a flow from the French border towards the city of Ventimiglia of migrants who have a plurality of legal status: there are those who want international protection and those who don’t. he does not intend to request it and does not want to be identified. We have been in this situation since 2015, with peaks in the summer, and this is a problem that the pro tempore mayor of Ventimiglia finds himself having to manage, who has the tools of an Italian municipality and with those he must try to guarantee public order above all and security, coordinating with the prefect and quaestor”.

And he points out: “The State has its own competences regarding reception mechanisms. We have now shared with a protocol the opening of a Pad (widespread assistance point) reserved for women, children and vulnerable people who find themselves in a situation of hardship. Since I took office, in agreement with the police headquarters and the prefecture, we have intensified the joint campaign to identify migrants. The data speak of a much, much higher presence of men than children, women and vulnerable subjects. It means – Mayor Di Muro continues to Adnkronos – that there is also a so-called irregular immigration that has difficulty finding integration or accepting forms of reception”.

“Around Ventimiglia, despite the massive flows, there are around 200 migrants – he says – Who change, because there is a continuous flow, considering that many manage to cross the border illegally. Clearly their intention to go to France does not allow the Italian institutional system to organize forms of detention or reception for these people who only wish to leave Ventimiglia and Italy as soon as possible. We are organizing a series of initiatives in agreement with the state bodies: first the Pad, then the Cas (extraordinary reception centres), for which they are waiting to know the results of a tender and at the provincial level so as to verify the transfer of applicants for international protection outside the municipal territory”.

“However – he reiterates – the majority of migrants, according to the census which is carried out weekly, are the so-called illegal immigrants, who when they are stopped are even arrested, others taken to the penal police. In this way it is also difficult to organize, once they arrive in Ventimiglia, a reception system for those who do not want reception. Which is why I also had to take initiatives that many have considered strong and that I consider to be common sense and long awaited by my citizens, such as, for example, the armed guards at the cemetery, which by now had become impassable, and some fences that dissuade the ‘go to certain places deemed dangerous for the lives of the migrants themselves’.

“The situation is resolved on European tables and with international agreements – he says – I have seen that the new government, with President Meloni personally, both with France and in broader summits, is pursuing what is the position not only of Ventimiglia but also of Italy wholly intolerant of being left alone as a country of first landing in managing these flows. A humanitarian reflection, also by France, should be made, as well as by Europe with respect to its very existence”. (by Silvia Mancinelli)