Migrants would be a “blessing” to the European Union (EU) in the long-term, not an excessive source of crime, said Marco della Seta, ambassador to Korea from Italy that has become a major gateway for migrants with a huge influx of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from the Middle East and Africa.
“They are young and creative and want to contribute to the development of the European economy,” the ambassador said during a recent interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper at the Italian Embassy in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, adding that migrants can be a key to solve the aging population of Europe.
Over 15,000 migrants and refugees have already arrived to Italy since the beginning of 2017, marking a new record high in the migration inflows from Africa, according to Italian authorities. However, della Seta emphasized that immigrants are rarely involved in crime and terrorism, shrugging off concerns over a possible increase in crimes committed by immigrants.
Regarding Britain`s divorce from the EU, the ambassador said that to EU, it is “time to reform,” not to worry about crisis. The ambassador also expressed his confidence in the EU, saying that although the EU is “facing a difficult moment after (the) Brexit” decision, it can “evolve in (a) positive way” while dealing with rising migration and unemployment.
Against growing protectionism on the global trade since the new U.S. administration led by Donald Trump entered, della Seta reiterated the importance of free trades among countries. He said both the EU and South Korea have benefited from free trade deals as trade volume in the EU has increased and the EU has become “the largest investor to Korea.”
Praising the Korea-EU free trade agreement (FTA) as a successful free trade deal, he said “we have to see a bigger picture” in FTA that not only deals trade issues but also enhance cross-country investment and competitiveness.
By Lim Young-sin
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