Italy summons French Ambassador over Macron remarks
Italy’s Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi has summoned French Ambassador to Italy, Catherine Colonna over French president Emmanuel Macron remarks against Italy.
"Following yesterday’s the statements of Paris over the Aquarius issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned the ambassador of France to Italy to the foreign ministry this morning," the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Milanesi told the French ambassador, that the criticism was unjustified and "compromising" relations between the countries.
"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.
On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron accused Italy of "cynicism and irresponsibility" over Rome denying entry to the ship carrying more than 600 migrants, rescued in the Mediterranean sea by the German branch of the SOS Mediterranee NGO. Spain allowed the ship to dock in Valencia after Italy's and Malta's refusals.
Spokesman of Macron's La République En Marche! party, Gabriel Attal later told Public Senat TV, that the Italian position makes him "vomit," adding, that "It's totally unacceptable to play petty politics with human lives."
Addressing the issue, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in his speech to the senate, claimed that France had only taken in 640 migrants, instead of 9,000 it had previously promised, demanding that Paris move from "words to action and offer a sign of generosity" by taking more in.
Italy’s new coalition government is taking a hardline policy on migration, as Europe is struggling to negotiate refugee quotas and a common European framework to share responsibility for migrant arrivals. Previously, minister Salvini has said that Italy can not be Europe's "refugee camp" while the neighboring countries close borders and defend its frontiers with weapons.
Since 2015, Europe has been experiencing its worst migration crisis in recent history, struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing hostilities in the Middle Eastern and North African countries.
According to the UN estimates, over 30,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe by sea since the beginning of 2018.
Over 13,000 of them arrived in Italy, making it one of the countries most hit by the migrant crisis.