Global

Italy says 'arrogant' France could become main enemy on migration

Italy says 'arrogant' France could become main enemy on migration

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.

"Italy indeed faces a migration emergency and it's partly because France keeps pushing back people at the border. Macron is making his country a candidate to become Italy's number one enemy on this", he said.

Backing Merkel on the make-or-break migrant issue, he said France and Germany would seek agreements to ensure newcomers whose details were already in European Union databases "can be taken back as quickly as possible to the country where they were registered".

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". But such "secondary movements" are hard to stop in the border-free Schengen zone, and have been widespread since immigration to Europe peaked in 2015, when more than a million people arrived from the Middle East and Africa.

According to German Interior Ministry statistics, the crime rate was at its lowest since 1992 past year, when around 5.76 million crimes were registered in the country.

"France and Germany will ensure that those who are registered in a Schengen zone country can be taken back as quickly as possible to the country where they have been registered", he said, vowing to achieve this through bilateral and multinational agreements.

The implementation of the Dublin II Treaty for asylum seekers has met stiff opposition by the bloc's main countries of entry, Italy and Greece, as well as by the Visegrad four - Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland - and seen with deep scepticism by the Baltic states, Austria and Slovenia.

The group also tweeted that it had carried out another rescue overnight, though details of how many migrants were accepted- and by which ship - have yet to be released.

"So instead of taking, we are willing to give", said Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the League leader.

The French president suggested that additional conditions should be attached to the granting of the EU's structural funds to guarantee the recipients take their share of asylum migrants.

Merkel, whose open-door approach has resulted in the arrival of over 1.6 million migrants in Germany since 2014, will also discuss the issue with Spain's new Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, on Tuesday in Berlin.

European Union leaders on Sunday will try to find common ground for tackling migrants arriving on Europe's shores in search of better lives - a growing political crisis threatening to undermine the entire EU project.

Malta's premier is telling a German aid group to reroute its ship away from the Mediterranean island to avoid further escalation of another European standoff over helping migrants.

"Be smart America!" said the president, who is under mounting pressure to end the separation of immigrant families on the southern United States border.

Italy says it will seize two migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean, citing doubts over their legal status.


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