Italy has no tension with France over migrant crisis

Italy has long argued that it and Greece cannot cope alone with the influx just because they are the closest landing points for refugees and economic migrants from Africa

Italy has no tension with France over migrant crisis

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Italy's prime minister and France's president put on a show of unity on Sunday, dismissing suggestions of tensions between their countries over handling the waves of migrants landing on southern Europe's shores.

Ministers in Paris and Rome have exchanged barbs after France began turning back migrants at the French-Italian border earlier this month, invoking EU rules requiring refuge seekers to do so in the first European country where they set foot.

Following a meeting with France's Francois Hollande at the Expo 2015 world fair in Milan, Italy's Matteo Renzi said the two saw eye-to-eye and would push for an agreement with other European Union states at a summit scheduled for June 25-26.

"Were there tensions to defuse? No," Renzi told a joint news conference. "Ministers have been making statements ... it's like couples who have been together for a long time."

Hollande said Italy should not be left to handle the brunt of the migrant crisis, but rules had to be followed. He rejected national quotas for resettling the migrants, saying voluntary commitments by individual states would be more effective.

"The quota system creates confusion ... and makes no sense," he said. "Every country has to say how much it can do, taking into account its specific geographic, economic and also political situation. But it's clear that every country has to make a commitment."

A number of EU countries have stressed that any acceptance system should be based on a voluntary approach.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Haziran 2015, 11:51