‘Impossible & risky to take in more migrants’ – Rome’s mayor

‘Impossible & risky to take in more migrants’ – Rome’s mayor
Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has asked the Italian Interior Ministry for stricter measures to be taken toward the influx of foreigners into the capital.

A letter outlining the need for a “moratorium” on “the continued influx of foreign citizens” was sent by Raggi to Roman prefect Paola Basilone.

“I find it impossible, as well as risky, to think up further accommodation structures,” she wrote in the letter, as quoted by La Repubblica on Tuesday.

“This administration, given the high flows of unregistered migrants, hopes the assessments of new facilities take into account the evident migrant pressure on Roma Capitale [the City of Rome] and the possible devastating consequences in terms of social costs as well as for the protection of the beneficiaries themselves.”

In May, Raggi told RT that she was working to help accommodate refugees and asylum seekers in Rome, but also that she also has a responsibility to her constituents and other countries in the European Union must do their part.

“Let’s put it this way – Rome would be better off if European states didn’t build walls along their borders, but rather followed through on their obligations and respected the migrant quotas agreed upon by the EU,” she told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze. “According to the law, the city of Rome must accept migrants, as Mayor – I have to follow the law and do everything in my power to make sure that people are granted a safe place to stay here. But if other European countries decide to finally follow through on their obligations, we will welcome that decision.”

“As mayor of Rome, I have to accommodate migrants, but I am also responsible for the security of my city and its residents. We cannot ignore either issue.”

Raggi’s calls for a moratorium on immigration comes amid an EU-wide resettlement effort for refugees and other asylum seekers. Three countries – Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic – are facing legal action from the European Commission for failing to take in their share of the quota.

The three countries “have not yet taken the necessary action,” the Commission said in a statement, claiming that the three EU members “have not yet relocated a single person.”

“Against this background… the Commission has decided to launch infringement procedures against these three Member States.”

Since January, other countries within the bloc have relocated almost 10,300 people from Italy and Greece, according to the commission. “The pace of relocation has significantly increased,” it added, saying it has witnessed “a fivefold increase” compared to the same period last year.

In total, nearly 21,000 asylum-seekers have been distributed throughout Europe, some 14,000 from Greece and the rest from Italy. The flow of asylum seekers has been substantially slowed thanks to an agreement with Turkey, but this has not solved the problem of asylum seekers who are already there and stranded in overcrowded camps, where conditions are squalid and crime and sexual abuse are rampant.

According to the most recent figures published by the local government, as of January 2016 there were 364,632 foreigners living in Rome, making up 12.7 percent of the total population compared to 8.3 for Italy overall. Half of those foreigners are from Europe, according to figures released by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat).

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Bidding starts at $4: Ukrainian 25yo deputy minister auctions private meeting ‘for charity’

Bidding starts at $4: Ukrainian 25yo deputy minister auctions private meeting ‘for charity’
Ukraine’s youngest deputy interior minister, Anastasiya Deeva, who last year became embroiled in controversy after media published her erotic photoshoots, has decided to raise money for charity by auctioning a private breakfast to the most generous bidder.

The unusual auction lot appeared on ProZorro.sale, Ukraine’s public e-procurement system, on June 12, as part of #reformer charity campaign. Those who want to meet the youngest ever minister in the history of the Ukrainian government, need to place their bid no later than June 28, with the auction to be held the next day. The minimum bid price is set at 100 UAH, the equivalent of just $3.80.

Two photos of the minister serve as auction documentation to be downloaded by the aspiring bidders. One of the images is that of a smiling Deeva wearing round spectacles and is titled “cool.jpg.”

The rendezvous is to take place in Kiev within a month after the auction and is subject to prior agreement between the parties, the lot’s description says. All funds, raised at the auction, will be spent on the purchase of artificial pulmonary ventilation devices for a private children’s hospital.

“We assure you, that no other country has charming reformers in such a high concentration,” ProZorro.sale writes on Facebook, touting the lot.

READ MORE: Kiev names street after Nazi collaborator

The post has sparked a heated discussion, with some pointing to apparent “sexism” in a way the lot was introduced, with others mocking the idea wondering: “Why only breakfast?” and asking what exactly the meeting will include. Some cast doubt that Deeva will be able to raise enough money to buy at least several devices.

Responding to the backlash, Deeva fired back at her critics, saying: “You can always pour dirt, or you can just do a good deed and save the child’s life. The choice is always yours.”

“I think charity is an integral part of our life, like sports, education or work,” she wrote in a Facebook post, adding that she is “not offended by the level of discussion in the comment section.”

Deeva’s abrupt and unexpected rise to the top ranks of the Ukrainian government in November last year, when she was appointed a deputy interior minister for European integration at the age of 24, left many Ukrainians puzzled.

Following the announcement that a glamourous looking young woman with no prior experience at the ministry was appointed to a senior post on a non-competitive basis, social media erupted with many doubting whether Deeva is fit for the job.

Deeva then found herself in the center of another social media storm after her erotic photos were leaked online. As the scandal was making headlines, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov defended his decision to make her his deputy and slammed Deeva’s critics as “hypocrites.”

“It is worth understanding that some functions in this complex system, which is the ministry of internal affairs, are better performed by a 24-year-old or 30-year-old, than by a 50-year-old like me. This is normal and this works,” he wrote at the time. He also claimed that some of the leaked photos were fakes.

Responding to the flood of offensive comments, Deeva herself said that “no person deserves to be bullied like this.”

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