Rescued migrants arrives in the harbor of Lampedusa, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 2, 2015. Ships from Italy and France rescued more than 1,400 migrants on Saturday after smugglers' boats ran into trouble in the Mediterranean Sea near Libya. (AP Photo/Mauro Buccarello)

Italian fury after Hollande scuppers EU migrant plan

AN ambitious EU plan to share out asylum seekers across Europe was in tatters yesterday with Italy, the migrants’ main point of entry, accusing its partners of betrayal.

France led a series of European countries declaring they would refuse to accommodate more migrants escaping war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, prompting an angry outburst from Italy’s Foreign Minister.

“It would be very bitter if there was a U-turn in the availability to share, to turn the problem from an Italian problem into a European problem,” Paolo Gentiloni said.

He added: “There is no turning back at this point. Otherwise Europe would not be living up to its own standards.”

After about 750 migrants perished at sea last month as they tried to reach Italy from Libya, European leaders pledged to help to rescue efforts in the Mediterranean, while the EU drew up quotas to resettle 20,000 asylum seekers around the continent. Nearly 40,000 have landed in Italy this year, a 10 per cent rise on this time last year.

First Britain used its EU opt-out clause to duck out of the quotas. Then French Prime Minister Manuel Valls opted out of the plan…

  • Norman_In_New_York

    While rescuing those in distress was a just thing to do, Italy should have done what Australia is doing and send them back on more seaworthy boats.

    • Frau Katze

      That’s the best solution. People say, there are far more than werr going to Australia.

      But the EU has a much bigger population and should be able to afford it.

  • barryjr

    Wow Hollande is finally doing something intelligent. Maybe the Italians will smarten up and patrol their 200 mile limit and sink any invading vessel that don’t turn back when ordered to do so.

  • Hard Little Machine

    These are the laws they all pressed for. It was all fun and games when their self anointed holier than thou-ness was rhetorical. Now it’s real and boo hoo. Fuck em. Let 50 million dirty angry Africans show up.