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Refugee camps in Lezhë, the Council of Ministers in Italy starts the ratification of the agreement with Albania
Written by SOT.COM.AL 5 Dhjetor 2023
The Council of Ministers in Italy has started with the draft law for the ratification of the Protocol between Rome and Tirana, which foresees the construction of two structures (in the port of Shengjin and in the area of ??Gjader) for the management of migratory flows.
The financial coverage and the first implementing rules of the protocol between Italy and Albania for the management of immigrants are provided in the draft law for the ratification of the agreement.
The text arrives this afternoon at the Council of Ministers, after the technical examination that took place the day before, in the preparatory meeting.
It is easy to foresee a lively process in Parliament, with the opposition immediately opposing the agreement signed on November 6 by Giorgia Meloni and Edi Rama at Palazzo Chigi.
At first the government and the majority, with many voices, had argued that parliamentary ratification was not necessary, since the protocol (in force for five years from the date agreed between the parties with the subsequent exchange of notes) was based on two treaties between Rome and Tirana .
A thesis strongly disputed by the opposition, completed with a letter addressed to the Speaker of the Chamber, Lorenzo Fontana, who in mid-November asked the government for clarification on the details of the agreement.
And a week later, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani announced the executive's intention to submit "a ratification bill to the Chambers soon".
What does the agreement provide?
The final text will help to better understand how the project can take shape for the construction of planned structures in Albania in the port of Shengjin, near Bar, and in the area of ??Gjader, 20 kilometers inland.
The first, where the migrants loaded in the Mediterranean aboard Italian ships would land, based on the sheets contained in the protocol, will have a perimeter of approximately 240 meters, with an external fence of 4 meters with "offendicula", ie. wires or similar systems, and different routes inside: the one for migrants, the one for anti-scabies treatment, the exit routes to a reception camp and to the detention camp.
The structure in Gjadër, the one for determining the conditions for international protection and for the repatriation of immigrants who do not have the right to enter and stay in Italy, would be built on a construction area of ??77,700 square meters: the cadastral map shows 10 buildings for almost 2 thousand square meters.
The buildings of the State Police will also be built in this area. One issue remains that of the number of immigrants.
The protocol states that structures can host a maximum of 3,000 at the same time. At the signing, Meloni also spoke about 36,000 per year, calculating the procedures completed in four weeks.
The areas will be under Italian jurisdiction
Then the undersecretary Giovanbattista Fazzolari explained that "immigrants can be detained beyond 28 days in Albania as well. The maximum allowed by Italian law is 18 months".
In short, in all aspects, the areas that Tirana has given to Rome are subject exclusively to Italian jurisdiction. And Italy will bear the burden 100%: it will have to create a guarantee fund and, as a reimbursement advance for the first year, within three months of the entry into force of the agreement, it will have to pay 16.5 million euros into the special account of state treasury opened by Albania.
As defined in the agreement and in the annexes, the expenses include, among others, those of hospital assistance, the purchase of medical equipment, drugs and vaccines, expenses for the use of the police (Albanian forces are responsible for external supervision), the purchase of fuel for vehicles , as well as any legal costs for the defense before international courts and for the compensation of damages imposed by national or international courts.