Angela Merkel’s desperate attempts to secure a migration agreement at this week’s EU Summit have got off to a disastrous start with Italy refusing to sign any joint statement.
Italy’s new prime minister Giuseppe Conte said earlier the migration crisis “does not need more words but concrete actions” and appears likely not to add his name to any joint EU statement.
This is a political nightmare for Mrs Merkel, who hoped to use the summit as a vehicle to boost her flagging influence in Germany after a rocky year in Berlin.
She spent months attempting to secure another term as Chancellor following a disappointing German election and has suffered plummeting approval ratings in the country.
This makes today’s migration stalemate a potential nightmare and given rise to more concerns she is once again losing control of her power in Germany and Brussels.
To make matters worse Mrs Merkel’s interior minister Horst Seehofer has warned he could pull the plug on their CSU/CDU union if the Chancellor cannot secure a migration agreement.
Nigel Farage has now stuck the boot in, predicting Mrs Merkel’s demise and speculating on the knock-on effects in Brussels.
He said: “It’s not all going to come crashing down — but there is a different thing at play here.
“Mrs Merkel is the single figure who over the last decade has had authority in this union.
“Once she goes, you’ll start to see the same indiscipline coming into the Euro and the management of it that you’re starting to see on migration now.”
Earlier today Mr Farage also hit out at Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s taoiseach (prime minister), who has ruffled a few feathers in Brussels today.
Mr Varadkar cheekily told reporters he would be supporting Belgium in today’s crunch World Cup with England.
He said: “I am here in Brussels in Belgium so of course I am going to be cheering for the home team.
“But of course if Belgium wins England will probably get an easier ride in the next round so perhaps it is one of those win-win scenarios.”
Mr Farage responded with a stinging Twitter post.
He said: “This tells us all we need to know. He really is the yes-man of Europe.”