Spain/France/Italy: Joint expulsion flight to Romania

Spain, France and Italy jointly organised a charter flight to expel 125 Romanian citizens residing illegally in their territory on 22 September 2005. The expulsion was organised by Spain (from where 75 people were deported, with 30 expelled by France and 20 by Italy), and further flights to carry out expulsions are envisaged, one to Ecuador and Colombia to be organised by Spain, and another to Nigeria for which Italy is set to take charge.

The expelled individuals will be banned from entering the Schengen area for five years. Figures provided by the Italian interior ministry in its annual report for 2005, covering a four-year period, state that 26 charter flights were used to repatriate 2,297 foreigners in 2002; 33 flights repatriated 2,334 persons in 2003 and 72 flights were used to remove 4,900 persons in 2004. The figures appear to be on the rise, as 43 flights were used to deport 2,940 migrants in the first semester of 2005.

Overall, more than 11,000 "illegal" migrants have been expelled from Italy using charter flights in the last four years, and joint charter flights were organised to carry 54 people to Nigeria (with the UK), 10 people to Romania (with France, Spain and Belgium) and 30 people to Ecuador (with Spain).

1. El País, 23.9.2005
2. Le Monde, 23.9.2005
3. Italian interior ministry annual report on security for 2005 p41 (full-text pdf, in Italian).

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