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Italian "disassembly" split the EU

Italian "disassembly" split the EU

August 25 2018
Tags: Italy, Migration, Refugees, EU, Politics, Europe, European Commission, Analytics

Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right party "League", which is part of the ruling coalition together with the populist movement "Five Stars", and concurrently the head of the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs, once again went to the warpath. He fights with the ships of human rights organizations that swim the Mediterranean, rescues migrants trying to get from Libya to Europe; and take them to Italy. Since all issues related to migrants are a pan-European problem, the European Commission announced the convening of an extraordinary meeting on migration.

Matteo Salvini is now in hand-to-hand with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The dispute arose about the fate of 177 migrants, who were rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to Italy by ship Diciotti. The ship has already been in Sicilian ports for three days, but only 29 minors were allowed to go ashore, and they set off on a dangerous journey without adults. The remaining passengers are forced to stay on the ship.

Salvini believes that migrants can be allowed to enter Italy on condition that other European countries share responsibility with Rome. Mattarella, however, demands that migrants be allowed to go ashore for humanitarian reasons. The head of state rarely interferes in the daily activities of the government, but last month he ended by his willful decision a similar dispute over 67 migrants who arrived on the same ship, and allowed them to go ashore.

Now, says Matteo Salvini, he will not allow President Mattarella to re-immigrate to Italy without his consent.

"Change either the country or the minister," he declared in a video message on Wednesday night, unambiguously threatening to resign and, consequently, a government crisis.

By the way, relations with Salvini deteriorated not only with the president, but also with partners in the ruling coalition - the movement "Five Stars" ...

Italian "disassembly" is a mirror image of the pan-European conflict provoked by migrants and led to a deep split in the Old World. At the June summit, European leaders agreed to take a series of measures against migrants after the all-night talks. The creation of centers for the reception of refugees both on the territory of the EU and beyond its borders is considered the most serious. However, the agreement is made in general phrases, as a result of which officials faced great difficulties in implementing the decisions of the summit.

The fact that the agreement is "raw" and needs further development, according to one of the diplomats who participated in the June summit, is not surprising. The agreement was signed by people who very much wanted to sleep and who were ready for anything to get to rest as soon as possible. Naturally, there is no question of any consensus in such a situation.

Politico magazine managed to get a report on the meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels, held on 11 July. From documents it follows, for example, that Sweden and Spain and Hungary have a diametrically opposite understanding of the agreement reached at the June summit.

According to the head of the press service of the European Commission Alexander Winterstein, european officials have been vigorously trying to find a way out of the next impasse, stemming from the fault of Matteo Salvini, this whole week. The EC intensifies efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem of migrants. To this end, on Friday, 24 August, in Brussels for an informal meeting on problems with migrants, "Sherpas", high-ranking officials of national governments, members of the EU coordinating the Union's policy should come together.

The exact composition of the minisummit participants will be known only at the very last minute, but representatives of at least 11 states are expected to arrive in Brussels: France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland. It is not excluded that there will be more participants.

Sergey Manukov
Expert Online
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