Italian Minister Says EU Should Decide Unanimously on Gitmo Inmates
By Sabina Castelfranco
30 May 2009
Italy's interior minister said Saturday that European Union members must agree unanimously over accepting ex-detainees from the Guantanamo military base. He also expressed worry that the suspected terrorists might move easily through the union's loose borders.
Addressing reporters at a press conference at the end of the two-day Group of Eight summit, Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni said the detainees from the U.S. military prison on the Cuban island should be sent only to countries that are able to jail them again.
He said the European Union must reach a unanimous decision and welcome them, if they decide to do so, those that can be should be put back in prison. Otherwise, he added, that what will happen is that the inmates, once escorted out of airports, will be able to freely move across the porous national borders of several EU countries and this is not acceptable. .
The European Union says it is at risk of terrorist attacks because of its so-called Schengen zone - an area in which no systematic passport checks are carried out.
He said that while no concrete decision were made at the G-8 summit, it will discuss the issue again at a ministerial meeting in Luxembourg June 4-5.
U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of Guantanamo, which has been criticized in much of Europe. His administration is reviewing Guantanamo cases to determine whether the suspects remaining there should be tried in U.S. courts or released to other countries.
The Interior and Justice Ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations also focused on organized crime, immigration, child pornography, piracy and terrorism.
The G-8 ministers agreed to increase cooperation and share information in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. They stressed the need to block the financing of terrorism, urging the "monitoring the activities and communications terrorist organizations rely on," especially the Internet.
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