Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italy demands French apology, Tria scrubs Le Maire meeting

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 13 - The Italian government on Wednesday
called on Paris to apologise for its criticism of Italy's
handling of the case of the Aquarius migrant-rescue ship and
Economy Minister Giovanni Tria cancelled a meeting with his
French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.
French President Emmanuel Macron called Italian Interior
Minister Matteo Salvini "cynical and irresponsible" in refusing
to allow the Aquarius to offload 629 migrants at an Italian port
at the weekend.
The spokesman for his En Marche party described Italy's
migrant policy as "sickening"
The NGO-run ship is now in its way to Valencia after Spain
agreed to offer a port of safety, although Madrid said Rome's
refusal to accept the Aquarius was potentially a criminal case.
"We have nothing to learn from anyone in terms of
solidarity," Salvini, who is also deputy premier and leader of
the League party, told the Senate.
"Our history does not deserve to be reproached in these terms
by members of the French government, who I hope apologise.
"Macron should go from words to deeds and tomorrow morning
receive the 9,000 migrants he committed to receiving".
The minister said that France has taken only 340 of the 9,816
migrants who were meant to be relocated there in three years.
"France says that we are cynical but between January 1 and
May 31 it turned back 10,249 people at the border, including
women and disabled children," Salvini said.
Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi summoned the
French envoy in Rome and said that the "tones used" in Paris's
criticism of the handling of the Aquarius case were
"unacceptable".
"Similar statements are compromising relations between Italy
and France," he said, adding that Paris should take action to
"rectify the situation".
"The Italian government hopes Paris takes initiatives
promptly," Moavero said.
Le Maire expressed sorrow about the scrubbed meeting.
"Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria's visit has been
cancelled and we express sadness," Le Maire said.
"There are many important issues to discuss with Tria, in
particular in view of the European Council at the end of June".
Le Maire added that Tria "will come to Paris in the coming
days".

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