Enough! Migrants protest as Switzerland slams border shut in new crackdown

SWITZERLAND is the latest country to give up on European cooperation as the government steams ahead with their own plans to clamp down on the migrant influx.

The Swiss government expects far fewer asylum requests this year following intense restrictions on migrants crossing the border from Italy.Italy has become the frontline of the migrant crisis after a number of Balkan countries, as well as Austria and Hungary, almost completely shut down their borders.The Mediterranean nation has shouldered an unprecedented number of migrants with little help from their EU neighbours, sparking a spat between Matteo Renzi’s government and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

fewer asylum requestsIG

The Swiss government expects fewer asylum requests

Now, the unilateral move from Switzerland will see the country that sits outside of the EU cut its predicted intake this year by more than 20 per cent.A deal between the European Union and Turkey has reduced numbers of people crossing the sea to Greece, making Switzerland’s neighbour Italy the new crisis point.While legitimate asylum seekers can stay, Swiss authorities said the country can’t become a transit route to northern Europe.

Switzerland has since increased security along its border with Italy, deploying helicopters and a drone over the region to keep out illegal immigrants.

While Italy has seen a dramatic rise in migrants arriving this year, Swiss asylum requests in July and August fell dramatically by more than a third on last year, according to the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration.

On top of this, Switerland have been able to turn back nearly 5,000 migrants – two-thirds of the total of those who passed through the Italian border.

We’ve never before had so many people camping out here

Roberto Bernasconi, director of the charity group Caritas

However, the border crackdown has created chaos along northern Italian towns including Como which has seen a pile-up of migrants sleeping in train stations and public parks.Hundreds remain trapped on the border crossing, staying in the hope of crossing illegally.A migrant camp volunteer, Michele Luppi: “Most people here have been rejected for political asylum but they camp out because they still have the hope of reaching Switzerland.”

A pro-refugee march last week, urging Switzerland to open its border, was met with scorn from far-right Italians demanding the country deport the migrants.

merely fulfilling its obligationsGETTY

Swiss border officials say the country is merely fulfilling its obligations

Abdul, 16, who fled from Sudan, said he was fed up with Italy and wanted to move to Switzerland, where “life is good”.Roberto Bernasconi, director of the charity group Caritas, added: “We’ve never before had so many people camping out here.”Sami Tsegay, an 18-year-old who has been stuck in Como for three months, said: “I want to join my brother in Germany, but the situation is hopeless.”

He adds that he spends his days and nights on piled blankets near the train station, waiting for the chance to leave or sneak past border guards.

However, living conditions for those in limbo will improve later this month when an emergency migrant shelter for 300 people will open in Como.

40 per cent of asylum seekersGETTY

40 per cent of asylum seekers in Switzerland have gone missing

 station on the Swiss borderGETTY

Migrants sleeping at the Como train station on the Swiss border

Porto Masse, 18, who came here from Sudan, said he will not be moving into the shelter.He said: “I have to be right here at the train station so I can go to Switzerland at any moment.”Giusto della Valle, a priest in Como, said: “The Swiss are being very difficult. You’d think they fear an invasion.”

But, Switzerland says blocking migrants from traveling through the country is a matter of international law and that they are merely enforcing Europe’s so-called Dublin system by returning migrants to the first country where they registered.

Swiss border closureGETTY

Migrants in Como have protested the Swiss border closure

The crisis comes as around 40 per cent of all migrants in Switzerland who claimed asylum in the country have “vanished”.According to the Federal Migration Office, up to 90 per cent of the new arrivals lied, absconded or ran away in some aslyum centres.Albert Rösti, president of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) argued that the current situation was “a massive security risk” and that “the borders must be completely closed”

Leave a Reply

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Notify of
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: