Italy demands apology for France's 'hypocritical' criticism on migrants
Italy demands apology for France's 'hypocritical' criticism on migrants
Italy Summons French Envoy After Macron Blasts Refusal to Accept Migrant Ship
14 June, 2018, 03:12
In an interview published on Wednesday in the Milan daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, Mr Salvini said he had spoken with German interior minister Horst Seehofer, and believed an Italy-Germany consensus was close on migration and security policy.
Italy's deputy prime minister called for an official apology before any further summits.
Italy's Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned French Ambassador to Italy Catherine Colonna after French President Emmanuel Macron called Italy "irresponsible" for refusing to accept migrants from the Aquarius vessel stranded in the Mediterranean, the ministry said in a statement.
Salvini shot back that France has turned away thousands of migrants trying to reach France at Italy's northern border.
"Our history of solidarity, humanity and welcoming spirit does not deserve to be criticized by members of the French government", he said.
Matteo Salvini on Wednesday.
Kurz, who leads a coalition government with the far-right, anti-immigration Freedom party, said a growing number of European governments were now agreed on the need to curb uncontrolled migration and crack down on people trafficking.
Salvini, the leader of the far-right, anti-immigration League party, blocked the Aquarius from entering Italian ports this weekend, prompting an worldwide outcry.
France sought to take a more conciliatory tone on Wednesday.
A migrant receives clothes from a staff member on the MV Aquarius, a search and rescue ship run in partnership between SOS Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres on their way to Spain, June 13, 2018.
"I'm pleased that they [France] have discovered responsibility".
"I speak in the name of a government but I also have the ambition of speaking for a people who have nothing to learn from anyone about generosity, volunteerism, welcome and solidarity", he said. Spain stepped up and offered the Aquarius safe harbor after Italy and Malta both refused.
"Finally!" said Hungary's anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at a meeting with his Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini on Tuesday. Kurz said Europe needed an "axis of the willing in the fight against illegal migration".
The M5S-League government says that current European Union rules, which require migrants to seek asylum wherever in Europe they first arrive, leave Italy and its southern neighbours bearing the brunt of mass migration across the Mediterranean.
It would also represent a complete reversal of the open-doors migrant policy she adopted in 2015, which saw more than 1 million migrants enter Germany and is seen as having fuelled a sharp rise in support for the rightwing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and caused deep rifts within her conservative bloc.
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