Conte Starts EU Roadshow in Test of Italy's Immigration Stance
Conte Starts EU Roadshow in Test of Italy's Immigration Stance
Italy and France try to patch up migrant row, draw papal rebuke
17 June, 2018, 21:39
Macron said he supported the measure and other "profound reforms" of the EU's asylum rules, and added the European Union had not shown enough solidarity with Italy, which is the first country many migrants from North Africa arrive at when they enter the bloc.
At press conference with Conte, Macron rejected idea, suggested by German minister of Interior, Horst Seehofer, and Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, of a "axis of volunteers" between Germany, Austria and Italy against immigration.
"France does not want escalation; it's counter productive".
"I'd like an axis of the willing that spans the whole European arc, that's what we aspire to", he said.
It added that Italy was waiting for French to take action to "heal the situation that has been created".
Leaders are to discuss Macron's ambitious eurozone reform plans, which Italian Foreign Minister Giovanni Tria has voiced support for.
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Mr Macron had accused Italy of "cynicism" and "irresponsibility" for failing to take in the Aquarius migrants.
But just two weeks before the self-imposed deadline of the June 28-29 EU summit in Brussels, EU countries remain deadlocked on how to relocate asylum seekers in the event of a new crisis.
Pope Francis, who has made the defence of refugees a plank of his papacy, rebuked politicians for not respecting the dignity of migrants and demanded "a change in mindset".
"But now we need to work on reform of the Dublin Agreement", he added in reference to controversial European Union rules which require migrants to apply for asylum in the country where they first arrive. After Malta also refused and pointed the ship to Italy, Spain's new Socialist prime minister offered the passengers safe harbour on Monday.
Italy then triggered a row with European nations when it refused to allow the Aquarius, a rescue ship with 629 migrants aboard, to dock at its ports.
Ropes have been strung around the ship to make it easier to walk on deck, video from the Aquarius showed.
Discussions were complicated by a report released Friday by Oxfam, highlighting the plight of almost 20,000 migrants languishing at the Italy-France border without adequate water, food, shelter, or counsel on their rights. They were rescued off the coast of Libya last week.
Under the EU's asylum laws - now the subject of revision amid a major political dispute - migrants must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter Europe.
Italy for years has complained that it has been left largely alone to manage Europe's migrant crisis, but the new government says its tactics have finally gotten the point across.
The U.S. Sixth Fleet said it was coordinating with its partners on where the migrants will go next.
Italian maritime vessels that have picked up Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean still are entering the ports; on Wednesday, an Italian coast guard vessel docked in Catania, Sicily with 932 migrants on board. The second, a part of parliamentary group of its own party, Republic in progress, and own Europeanism that cultivates Macron: its will to incarnate in adversary at same time liberal and progressive to national-populist Europe embodied by Salvini and Le Pen.
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