Frontex Director Ilkka Laitinen was interviewed by Spiegel Online. He expressed the view that Frontex’s main task in regard to the 5000 or so Tunisian migrants who have reached Italy over the past several weeks will be facilitating the return of most of them to Tunisia. According to Laitinen, only a “very few” of the Tunisians have sought asylum protection. He also said that Frontex “experts [had] come to the conclusion that the flight of the 5,000 had been planned for a long time. ‘Twenty human traffickers have already been arrested[.] They had just been waiting for the right opportunity.’”
While the view that most of the Tunisians who have arrived to date in Italy will not qualify for asylum or subsidiary protection is shared by many others, if and when people begin fleeing directly from Libya, whether they be Libyan or non-Libyan, there will almost certainly be a much larger number of qualified asylum seekers in any new migrants flows, especially if the Gaddafi regime remains in power.
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