ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2018


Italy summons French envoy as migration row escalates

14 June 2018, 12:46 | Erica Roy

GETTYMatteo Salvini's decision to block a migrant ship docking in Italy has been criticised by France

Matteo Salvini emmanuel Macron

Amid an escalation with France's president over the refusal to take in stranded migrants in the Mediterranean, Emmanuel Macron calling for "not giving in to emotion" and insists he's working with the government in Rome.

The French ambassador has been summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry to explain his government's criticism of Italy's handling of the Aquarius migrant boat affair.

But Italy's foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, kept up the barrage by telling a French envoy that Macron's comments were "unjustifiable" and had compromised relations between the two countries.

Mr Macron had suggested Italy's new leadership was attempting to make a high-profile break with previous governments in refusing to take in the ship, instead of dealing with underlying issues such as development and security in the migrants' home countries. Salvini was harshly critical of Malta for refusing to take the migrant ship after Italy closed its ports to it.

"We have nothing to learn about generosity, voluntarism, welcoming, and solidarity from anyone", far-right Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told the Senate.

Macron, for his part, said he could not apologise for criticising Italy's hardline migrant stance in rejecting rescue ship Aquarius, saying "I can't say those who provoke are right".


Macron called Conte on Thursday, a source in the prime minister's office said, without elaborating.

"We have to have predictable arrangements, so that rescue boats know where to go", Grandi said, warning that "otherwise, this [could be] a disincentive to rescue, [and] people may lose their lives if this doesn't happen".

Under the EU's asylum laws - now the subject of a major political dispute and under revision - migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe.

On Wednesday, an Italian coast guard vessel docked in Catania, Sicily with more than 900 migrants aboard in a sign that Italy under the populist 5-Star Movement and anti-migrant League is still accepting some migrants, but is forcing other countries to share the burden.

In his speech, Salvini shot back and said France had turned back 10,249 migrants at Italy's northern border since January "including women, children and disabled people".

Salvini said France had taken in only a fraction of the 9,816 migrants it had pledged to welcome under a 2015 European Union relocation plan to relieve frontline countries Italy and Greece of the burden of caring for newly arrived migrants. German aid group Sea-Watch said the migrants were picked up after their rubber dinghy sank and the Navy also had recovered the bodies of 12 people. Macron's office said Tuesday that France doesn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach global laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.



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