France, Italy, Spain appeal to EU on immigration

11th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

HELSINKI, Sept 10, 2006 (AFP) - France, Italy and Spain want upcoming EU summits to include decisions about beefing up European joint action to hold back the flow of illegal immigrants, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Sunday.

HELSINKI, Sept 10, 2006 (AFP) - France, Italy and Spain want upcoming EU summits to include decisions about beefing up European joint action to hold back the flow of illegal immigrants, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Sunday.

Prodi said that he, French President Jacques Chirac and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wanted joint actions to be discussed at an informal EU summit in October and at a formal meeting in December.

"Common action means not only common patrolling but cooperation with the adjoining countries these immigrants come from, but also an active developing of these countries in order to help the economy," he told a news conference on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit in Helsinki.

Their initiative came after European Commission President José Manuel Barroso wrote to the leaders of all 25 EU member nations calling for more solidarity to tackle the growing problem of illegal immigration into the bloc.

The EU currently has a modest budget to fight illegal immigration.

France, Italy and especially Spain are struggling to cope with a flood of illegal immigrants, which has reached crisis proportions in the Canary Islands.

EU member states have promised to send patrol boats and aircraft to help Spain stop the tide of migrants from arriving on its shores.

Spain is also to host a meeting later this month of foreign and interior ministers from the eight nations controlling Europe's southern borders to discuss the issue.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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