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MNI (London)
Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 07:20 GMT Apr 10/03:20 EST Apr 10
--Lega Will Use An 'Iron Fist' Against Migration Issue 
By Les Commons
     ROME (MNI) - Italian centre-right coalition leaders Lega have pledged to
abolish the Schengen Treaty and recover national borders with strong domestic
controls, a senior party official told MNI in an exclusive interview. 
     Nicola Molteni, Lega's migration spokesman, argued that the European
Union's migratory policies have failed and a new approach was needed. "Europe
isn't the solution to the immigration emergency, it's the problem," he said,
adding that rather than boosting policy convergence, countries need to unwind it
and take power back. 
     "There is no real, efficient European migration policy that has worked so
far. All treaties handling migrant inflows, starting from the Dublin Treaty,
need be dismantled and totally re-written," he said.  
     In his view Frontex, the EU agency that coordinates border control across
the bloc, is "totally helpless" and needs an overhaul, while the Schengen Treaty
has "no future".  
     "It makes sense having free circulation and no internal borders only if
external frontiers are well protected -- and that is not the case," said
     Lega, as leaders of the centre right coalition, are expected to be a pillar
of the future government. They have pledged to adopt an "iron fist" with
migrants, following the example of Hungary and Austria, both of whom Molteni
sees as defending their borders.
     "If all levels of intervention fail -- international and European -- then
member states must recover lost sovereignty and adopt tight rules that benefit
them," he argued. 
     All across Europe, member states are introducing nationalist migrant
policies, even France and Germany, where new asylum procedures have been
implemented, said Molteni.
     French border police recently encroached onto Italian territory to track
down a group of migrants, he stressed, and we "should be able to do the same to
defend our interests and towns".
     "We will not be servile anymore, bend the knee nor go cap in hand to
Brussels if we govern Italy: EU diktats are over. The quota allocation scheme
has turned out to be a farce and Italy is in fact the greatest migrant door to
Europe, yet we receive ridiculous funding".
     Lega's first anti-migrant moves once in power would include boosting funds
for the repatriation of illegal migrants and extending detention times inside
compulsory refugee centres in Italy from the current 90 days to 18 months.
     "At the European level, but also nationally, we need to boost dialogue and
reinforce bilateral deals between Europe and migrants' countries of origin. That
is the only way to solve the situation: refugees need to forward asylum requests
in their home countries," Molteni said. 
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |