“Italian ports could be blocked to stop migrants,” Rome alerted its European partners last week. “We are under pressure and we need concrete help from Europe,” stated Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
But France and Spain are unwilling to accept migrant-rescuing NGO ships docking in their ports if Italy goes ahead with a threat to bar foreign-flagged rescue vessels from Italian ports, ANSA learned from sources in Brussles on Monday.
Moreover, French President Emmanuel Macron underlined that “we will support Italy, in a coordinated way in Europe an effective and humane action which will enable us to welcome political refugees, without confusing them with economic migrants (who are 80% of migrants arriving in Italy) and without abandoning the indispensable maintenance of our borders.”
“I considered an extraordinary declaration when Macron said Italy was left alone to face the arrival of refugees in Lampedusa. I suppose he will act accordingly then,” said Italian Interior Minister Minniti inviting France to play its role.