Af­ter Malta, Salivini lashes out at France

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Lash­ing out at the French gov­ern­ment, Salvini said France had taken in only a frac­tion of the 9,816 mi­grants it had pledged to ac­cept un­der a 2015 EU re­lo­ca­tion plan. The EU plan, which was in­tended to re­lieve pres­sure on Italy and Greece, has largely flopped, with only a hand­ful of coun­tries re­ceiv­ing their share of new­com­ers.

“So I ask Pres­i­dent Macron to pass from words to ac­tion and to­mor­row morn­ing, wel­come the 9,000 France promised to wel­come as a sign of con­crete gen­eros­ity and not just words,” Salvini said.

France has ad­mit­ted 635 mi­grants un­der the terms of the plan, ac­cord­ing to EU fig­ures.

The line Italy drew with the Aquar­ius ap­peared to be a tac­tic by the pop­ulist gov­ern­ment sworn in this month to force Eu­rope’s hand at a sum­mit of EU lead­ers in Brus­sels set for 28 and 29 June.

Italy for years has com­plained that it has been left largely alone to man­age Eu­rope’s mi­grant cri­sis, but the new gov­ern­ment says its firm stance has fi­nally got­ten the point across.

“I think we’ve never been so cen­tral and so heard as we have been over the last hours,” Salvini told the sen­a­tors, adding that sym­pa­thetic of­fi­cials from Ger­many and else­where had con­tacted him to ap­plaud his po­si­tion.

Salvini also ac­cused France of hav­ing turned back 10,249 mi­grants at Italy’s north­ern bor­der since Jan­uary, “in­clud­ing women, chil­dren and dis­abled peo­ple.”

The bor­der cross­ing point at Ven­timiglia has been the scene of protests and des­per­a­tion for years as France re­fused to let in mi­grants, many of them seek­ing to reach fam­ily in France or

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