Government Italy cancelled a planned meeting between finance ministers and warned...
NICOLE WINFIELD | SYLVIE CORBET
INTERNATIONAL.- Italy escalated its standoff with France over migration Wednesday, challenging Paris to take in more asylum-seekers and demanding an apology after the French president accused the new populist Italian government of cynical, irresponsible behavior by refusing entry to a rescue ship with hundreds of migrants aboard.
Italy summoned the French ambassador for consultations, cancelled a planned meeting between finance ministers and warned that diplomatic relations had been compromised. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini chided French President Emmanuel Macron by name during a speech before Parliament’s upper chamber.
También te puede interesar: Paul Ryan says Trump backs compromise immigration plan
“I speak in the name of a government but I also have the aim of speaking for a people who have nothing to learn from anyone about generosity, volunteerism, welcome and solidarity,” Salvini said to applause in the Senate chamber.
Italy has faced criticism — and praise from others — for turning away the Aquarius rescue ship, which was stuck in the Mediterranean Sea for days with 629 migrants onboard. Rome argues other European countries must step in, and that its passengers were never in danger.
Two Italian naval vessels are escorting the ship to Spain after the Socialist government of new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stepped up and offered the Aquarius safe harbor.