Border between Italy and Slovenia | Photo: ANSA/CRISTIANA MISSORI
Border between Italy and Slovenia | Photo: ANSA/CRISTIANA MISSORI

The relocation was decided on account of the "constant flow" of migrants coming into northeast Italy from Slovenia. It will, however, apparently be implemented as part of "a gradual process," according to authorities.

Italy's northeastern province Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) is currently engaged in a "gradual plan of territorial redistribution" of hundreds of asylum seekers to other regions across the country. The objective is to ease the pressure on reception facilities in the province, as many migrants arrive therefrom Slovenia via what is known as the "Balkan route."

The redistribution was launched after a visit to the local border city of Trieste by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. After the visit, the ministry issued an order to redistribute the migrants, which will "affect up to 2,000" people – more than half the number of migrants currently housed in FVG.

Trieste prefect Valerio Valenti said that in other regions of the country, "the number of migrants is being reduced due to fewer landings" by migrant boats on Italian shores, while the influx of migrants coming to the FVG region "remains the same - and is reaching the maximum capacity of available facilities."

The rights group Legacoop Sociali, however, has criticized the move, saying that this redistribution process was "a bona fide deportation, which is illegal and in violation of the most elementary human rights."

More space needed for new arrivals

The prefect highlighted that an initial meeting had been held with representatives from other provinces to gain a better understanding on "how to move forward" with the redistribution of migrants.

"We are trying to understand how to carry out" redistributions, he said. The first transfers had not led to a reduction' in the number of migrants in the area, he explained "since in the meantime more migrants have arrived.

"We are planning on increasing the number of transfers to create a cushion of available spaces to ensure that there is room for those arriving."

Valenti also expressed that there could likely be a need for more migrant facilities in the FVG region in future, "if (more) migrants arrive."


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