“Italy pays immigrants to go to Germany,” headlines Linkiesta quoting an accusation by the Hamburg immigration office. The city’s authorities say they have arrested around 300 African immigrants holding expired temporary permits issued in Italy and demand they are removed. The immigrants said they were explicitly told by Italian officials to head to Germany, the destination of choice for most immigrants arriving in the EU through Mediterranean country, and were given up to €500 if they agreed.

According to the news site, Italian authorities have tacitly admitted their responsibility and declared themselves ready to take back the immigrants. Most of them were accepted as refugees because they fled the civil war in Libya in 2011 and the subsequent wave of xenophobic attacks, which followed Muammar Gaddafi’s demise. The problem is that they are citizens of “countries listed as democratic like Ghana, Togo and Nigeria”, writes La Repubblica, meaning that in Germany they are not eligible for asylum granted to those fleeing violence.

The issue, which reportedly stems from the need to close temporary detention centres in Italy, was discovered several months ago and involves a much higher number of immigrants across Germany, writes La Repubblica, adding –

Now that German federal elections are approaching, it’s easy to imagine that discussing it in public may be of some use.