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28.07.2009 Politics

Veep asks Italy to tone down immigration law

By GNA
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Accra, July 28, GNA – Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday appealed to the Italian authorities to review its draconian immigration law on illegal immigrants.

He said the law, which imposed 10,000 Euros fine on an illegal immigrant or in default three years imprisonment was very rigid.

The Vice President made the appeal when an Italian delegation led by Dr Rodolfo Ronconi, Central Director of Immigration of Border Police at the Italian Ministry of Interior called on him at the Osu Castle.

The delegation was in the country to seek Ghana's co-operation and support to help Italy to fight illegal immigration.

Mr Mahama said Ghana was working hard to overcome its economic challenges that would make it possible for her citizens to stay in the country and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

He said following the discovery of oil in Ghana, government was stepping up agricultural production and establishing new industries as part of the measures to check illegal immigration.

“Naturally, men have the instinct of going on adventure or seeking greener pastures… no matter the conditions.”

Mr Mahama said as much as Italy would like to take neurosurgeons and nurses into their fold, it could be possible for that country to adopt a measure that would engage menial workers from developing countries to work there for one or two years so that when they comeback home they could establish themselves.

He said Ghana was appreciative of the economic co-operation that existed between the two countries, and expressed satisfaction that Italy had supported small enterprises schemes in Ghana.

The Vice President promised that Ghana would support Italy in combating illegal immigration.

Dr Ronconi said Italy was prepared to train Ghanaian immigration and police officers in the modern technology of combating crime and the smuggling of small arms across the borders.

He said Italy would sign a memorandum of understanding with Ghana on illegal immigrants.

Dr Ronconi said Ghana like Italy was a transit point to other countries and that was the more reason why the two countries needed to co-operate in that direction.

He said there were about 1,500 illegal immigrants in Italy whose repatriation were creating problems.

Responding to Mr Mahama's enquiry to some Ghanaians who were killed in Italy recently, Dr Ronconi said the case was under investigation.

He explained that the case seemed to have been an action perpetrated by some criminals.

GNA

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