19 April 2014: According to media reports, Italy has granted political asylum to Alma Shalabayeva, wife of the Khazak dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, and to their six year old daughter Alua. The information was provided by her lawyers.
18 April 2014: Interior Minister Angelino Alfano provided information on April 16th regarding the landings of foreign citizens on Italian shores: over 20,500 persons have arrived since the beginning of the year in comparison to 2,500 during the same period in 2013. Of 144 boats, 121 have embarked from Libyan ports. Reception/SPRAR spaces have now reached 12,000.
See graphs regarding the arrivals data:
17 Aprile 2014: The British government has decided to revoke the political asylum status granted to the Khazak oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov following intense pressure from Khazakstan, the Financial Times reports. According to the FT, the Home Office informed Ablyazov, who is currently in jail in France under fraud charges, in January of its intent to revoke his asylum status.
16 April 2014: Following a Joint Conference dedicated to the boat landings emergency that has resulted in almost 21,000 arrivals on Italy’s coasts this year, Piero Fassino, President of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) stated that “(w)e have asked the government to assume greater and more decisive responsibility regarding the immigration emergency than it has previously. Undersecretary Delrio will refer our request to the Government, which as soon as possible must undertake the necessary steps to not leave the municipalities to deal with this on their own. But in the meantime, the Government must distribute to the towns the funds already earmarked and approved”.
14 April 2014: The President of ANCI, Piero Fassino has officially requested, in a letter to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a “special session of the Joint Conference take place in the next few days” with the Prime Minister and of the Ministers of the Interior, Economy, Defense and Welfare present, to review the current situation of emergency landings, and to come to agreement together regarding a national Action Plan that will make it possible to balance the need to provide immediate solutions and to have the full involvement of the local authorities in whose territory reception is being carried out”. The letter follows the request by Mayor Enzo Bianco during the Joint Conference’s meeting yesterday.
13 April 2014: The Interior Ministry reports that pursuant to a directive from the Interior Minister, reception of migrants and asylum seekers will be spread throughout Italy, while waiting for the financing for the expansion of the SPRAR (Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees) system, from the current 9,400 spaces to over 19,000 spaces. Italy’s Prefectures are ready to provide initial reception and assistance to the numerous refugees and migrants who have arrived in Italy in recent months from countries in North Africa. The reception plan, drafted by the Department of Civil Liberties and Immigration, is an integral part of Minister Alfano’s directive to guarantee reception and rapid procedures for managing immigrant arrivals.