THE president of Liberal International, Lord John Alderdice, said in Palma yesterday that the solution to the immigration problem did not include converting the European Union into an “impregnable fortress” and proposed an increase in financial aid to countries such as those of North Africa to avoid dramatic situations. He was speaking at a break between work sessions of the 175th Liberal International Executive Committee, which is being hosted by the Majorcan Union (UM), the only Spanish party which forms part of the alliace. Lord Alderdice said that the Liberals were in favour of the free circulation of people and warned that the problems of poverty and terrorism are not solved by introducing “physical or imaginary barriers” but by maintaining contacts and by countries working together. He said that a way had to be found which did not lead to a chaotic situation and which protected both the interests of the immigrants and the stability of their destination countries. He admitted that it was a difficult problem and it would become even more so in the future.
His opinion was shared by former Finnish Prime Minister Anelie Jaatteenmaki and the Andorran foreign minister Juli Minoves-Triquell, who said that all European countries should become involved. Maria Antonia Munar, head of the UM, also said that more efforts had to be made as it was in the interests of the developed countries as well as those which are not as developed. Lord Alderdice also reminded the United States that not respecting the human rights of terrorist suspects “was not a long-term solution” and said that the experience of Northern Ireland had shown him that it was “counter-productive.” Munar said that it was more necessary than ever for liberalism to triumph.


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