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Italy to Start Fingerprinting Migrants at Sea

28 April 2016 11:50


Italy is to introduce the fingerprinting of migrants crossing the Mediterranean as soon as they are picked up by rescue boats, officials said Thursday.

The move could help to reduce mounting tensions between Italy and its EU partners over the large numbers of migrants who arrive in Italy but are not registered here and then travel on to northern Europe.

If they are not registered in Italy, neighboring countries like Austria and France and popular destination states like Germany and Sweden do not have the option of sending them back to Italy.

In theory they should be able to do this under the EU’s Dublin convention rules governing asylum claims.

The Italian move follows talks Wednesday between Interior Minister Angelo Alfano and EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in Sicily, where most migrants arrive and are processed at “hotspot” reception centers.

“With this we will now have hotspots at sea,” Alfano said, AFP reported.

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