EU news: Italy blasts ‘arrogant’ Macron for causing EU EMERGENCY | World | News



Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said Mr Macron’s claims migration flows towards Europe had reduced in comparison to a few years ago were out of touch with reality.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “Italy indeed faces a migration emergency and it’s partly because France keeps pushing back people at the border.

“Macron risks making his country Italy’s Number 1 enemy on this emergency.”

It comes after Emmanuel Macron said European cooperation had managed to cut migration flows by close to 80 percent and problems stemmed from “secondary” movements of migrants within Europe.

The French president said: ”The reality is that Europe is not experiencing a migration crisis of the same magnitude as the one it experienced in 2015.

“A country like Italy has not at all the same migratory pressure as last year. The crisis we are experiencing today in Europe is a political crisis tied to secondary movements between European countries.”

But Italy’s Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said his country had faced 650,000 arrivals by sea over the past four years, 430,000 asylum requests and the hosting of 170,000 “alleged refugees” for an overall cost of more than £4.4million.

In a statement where he referred to the northeastern Italian town at the border with France, Mr Salvini said: “If for the arrogant President Macron this is not a problem, we invite him to stop insulting and to show instead some concrete generosity by opening up France’s many ports and letting children, men and women through at Ventimiglia.” 

The French leader is pushing to punish EU states who refuse to take migrants with fines. 

Mr Macron said he would back financial sanctions for the bloc’s 28 nations if they fail to take in a flurry of refugees that have proven asylum status in a move that has fanned the flames of the Brussels immigration crisis.

He said: “I am for myself in favour of mechanisms that indeed take this into account.

“You can’t have countries that massively benefit from the solidarity of the European Union and that massively voice their national selfishness when it comes to migrant issues.”

Sunday’s emergency EU meeting is aimed at preparing for a full EU summit from June 28 to 29. 

EU states will attempt to thrash out a Europe-wide migration policy with other leaders at the European Council meeting at the end of the month.


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