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German newspaper: Refugee camp in Gjadër, an Italian prison, massive restriction of freedom

German newspaper: Refugee camp in Gjadër, an Italian prison, massive

In Albania's Gjadër, people are critical of the migration camp planned by Rome. This is how the German newspaper "Frankfurter Rundschau" begins the article , referring to the Italy-Albania agreement on refugees.

The German newspaper refers to the stalling of the construction of the camps in Gjadër, in a former military area. The works, which should have been completed on May 20 and the camps had already been opened, have been stopped.

Refugees by boat that are taken in the Mediterranean before arriving in Italy will be sent to Albania, exactly to the camps that will be built. The camp is not only paid by the Italian state, but the Italian law is also applied here, the Albanian state has been chosen here. Something that Albanian constitutional experts consider illegal. However, the Albanian Constitutional Court approved the project.

In particular, the fact that migrants are not allowed to leave the camp is causing strong criticism.

There has never been such a massive restriction of freedom in democratic Europe. It is against human rights. For the village of Gjadër, the Italian project means that a kind of prison will be built here.

No one knows exactly who will come to Gjadër, but it probably won't be families, because special protection must be given especially to minors. Residents of the Catholic village, with its beautiful parish church and lovingly decorated cemetery, are concerned that the immigrants, who are treated like prisoners, could become mentally ill.

Albania: Jobs for the local population through refugee camps?

40-year-old Mariana Ndoci, who is serving some visitors in the village cafe, believes that the Italian project is a "social experiment". They want to find out how and if it works. "If you hold people captive for so long, they become aggressive. "What if some people try to break out of the camp?" she said. Mrs. Ndoci and others in the village criticize the fact that they were not even asked if they agreed with the Italian camp in Gjadër. You are simply presented with a fait accompli.

Other visitors to the cafe agree. Hairdresser Armando Hamolli says that the Albanian government is doing this only for personal interests. However, it may happen that at least jobs will be created for the local population. After all, the camp needs a medical station and people to maintain the building, for example.

According to the agreement with Italy, "the total number of immigrants staying in the Albanian territory at the same time in accordance with this protocol cannot exceed 3,000 people". But this means that the Italian government's calculation is unlikely to work: that the threat to come to Albania instead of Italy may be such a deterrent that fewer migrants dare to cross the Mediterranean from Africa.

Clarifying the migrants' need for protection could take months, and in the meantime tens of thousands will have arrived again in Italy. Lawyers and international organizations that care for asylum seekers, as well as EU agencies, should have access to the camp.

However, the protocol between Italy and Albania, which entered into force in March, provides for numerous exemptions for the Italian authorities: no construction permit is required to build the buildings in the camp, and the buildings are exempt from taxes and customs duties. Italians who are employed in the camp also do not have to pay income tax or social security contributions in Albania. There are no restrictions or controls on how many euros you can bring into Albania. Italian staff also do not need visas. Anyone staying in Albania for more than the allowed 90 days will receive "a free identity document with a simple request," according to the protocol.

This applies for the next five years, if no party objects, it will be "quietly extended for another five years". The Italian authorities have committed to transfer 16.5 million euros as a type of advance to a special account in the Albanian treasury. In the port of Shengjin, not far from Gjader, a complex is being intensively built in which the immigrants will undergo an initial check before coming to the current camp. The camp itself is expected to be completed by October.

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