Migration, Meloni “Operational centers in Albania from August”

ROME (ITALPRESS) – “A complex of two centers for migrants in Albania will be operational from 1 August 2024”. The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, confirmed this latest announcement in a press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama after the visit to the Shengjin migrant center.

“There are those who have raised objections about the timing and operation of the centres, on which there would be a delay: it’s a bit curious, because first they accuse us of wanting to create Guantanamo and then they complain about the construction times of Guantanamo…”, she underlined.

“Seven months after the signing of the agreement with Albania we are here to announce the completion of the first structure, that of Shengjin, which will perform the typical functions of initial reception centres, i.e. the flashpoints which clearly also exist in Italy and which are dedicated to the migrants who are rescued and disembarked”, explained Meloni.

“Here, health screening, identification, photo-signalling and the formalization of the application for international protection will be carried out,” she continued, adding, “Only migrants rescued in international waters by Italian ships will be able to disembark at the port of Shengjin, while vulnerable people, like minors, women, elderly and fragile people, will not be brought to Albania”.

“We are not spending additional resources, we are making an investment: making a quick calculation, with the current capacity of these centers at full capacity, considering the migrants who are not welcomed in Italy, we will save 136 million”, she said.

The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama remarked: “I cannot fail to take this opportunity to express sadness over the many half-truths that have been told by the Italian media, including the public service, about Albania, with the very clear intention of throwing mud on this country, to attack the cooperation agreement between the two governments in the fight against illegal immigration.”

“The Special Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime has reassured us that the criminal heart does not exist neither in this area nor in other areas of Albania where criminal groups certainly operate but, again according to the Special Prosecutor’s Office which is part of the Eurojust network, there are no conditions to talk about an Albanian mafia, a concept widely used lately to throw mud at Albania”, he underlined.

“I have received many messages of solidarity from friends in Italy and around the world following the mud unleashed towards Albania and our government, which will have all the sins but has never had a single day of peace in the fight against crime and corruption, nor did it turn the other way”.

Rama recalled that “Italy has been useful to Albania many times” and said he was “proud” that Albania can be “useful to Italy: let’s take up this opportunity and do it with our hearts and with the conviction that the sea between Italy and Albania is not a space that divides us, but it is a space that unites us”.

– Photo screenshot from video Palazzo Chigi –


Source: medNews