Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Italy says without France apology Conte-Macron meet should be cancelled


This after French President Emmanuel Macron said Rome had acted with "cynicism and irresponsibility" by closing its ports to migrants.

The French ambassador has been summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry to explain his government's criticism of Italy's handling of the Aquarius migrant boat affair.

"We have nothing to learn about generosity, voluntarism, welcoming, and solidarity from anyone", far-right Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told the Senate.

Spain offered to welcome migrants aboard the Aquarius rescue ship after Italy and Malta refused to take them in.

Salvini called on France to apologise and said he was not prepared to take criticism from a country that regularly stopped migrants on their shared border. Justice Minister Dolores Delgado said that Italy may have violated worldwide humanitarian law, while Ximo Puig, president of the Valencia region, commented: "Turning this into a political weapon is despicable.it is clear that Europe must act more wisely, but we can not let these people die at sea".

More news: Why LeBron James' NBA 2K19 Cover Could Mean He's Leaving Cleveland

Italy's new Finance Minister Giovanni Tria cancelled a visit to Paris for talks with his French counterpart, the FT reported Wednesday.

Visiting western France, Macron initially did not respond to questions on the issue, but later told reporters: "We must never give in to emotions, which some people manipulate".

"The statements concerning Aquarius from France are surprising", the Italian Council stressed, adding that Rome won't tolerate receiving "hypocritical lessons from countries that preferred to divert the head "on the migrant crisis".

Some 629 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, have been in the central Mediterranean since Sunday aboard the Aquarius, a vessel operated by SOS Méditerranée, a Franco-German charity that tries to rescue people making the risky crossing to Europe.

But Italy's foreign minister, Enzo Moavero, kept up the barrage by telling a French envoy that Macron's comments were "unjustifiable" and had compromised relations between the two countries.

More news: Meghan Markle has been submitted for Emmy consideration for 'Suits'

Macron's office said Tuesday that France doesn't want to "start a precedent" that would allow some European countries to breach worldwide laws and rely on other EU member states to take in migrants.

Salvini insisted Tuesday that the country's ports would no longer be open to foreign boats carrying migrants.

"I am happy about the good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin - I think it marks very sensible cooperation that will contribute to reducing illegal migration to Europe", said Kurz, whose country assumes the EU's rotating presidency on July 1.

Refugees have continued to arrive as politicians trade blame.

More than 900 people have arrived at the Italian port of Catania in Sicily after being rescued at sea by the Italian Coast Guard.

More news: Thomas extends Criterium de Dauphine lead

However, the Sea Watch is still waiting to pick them up after asking for a written guarantee that it will be allowed to dock in an Italian port.

Like this: