Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said on Monday that the European Union risks collapsing unless it is able to find common ground on mass migration.
“If we continue to stall without a shared path, we risk bringing down the European building,” Conte remarked at a press conference discussing a recent meeting in Rome with European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“We presented what Italy has done up to now to Avramopoulos,” said Conte, adding “We are bringing in a change of direction that is bearing fruit.”
While discussing Italian efforts to curb mass migration, Conte said: Italy had been left alone and now are are coping alone. We didn’t talk about a naval blockade with Avramopoulos but we discussed instruments to defend the borders, which is a very important issue for managing (migrant) flows.”
Avramopoulos also met with Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has led the country’s tough stance against NGO-operated migrant transport ships across the mediterranean to Italian ports.
Salvini, speaking with RAI’s Tg2 bulletin, Salvini knocked France and Germany for “dictating legislature” over the past decade, adding that he and his allies in other EU countries “want to change Europe, not destroy it,” reports Bloomberg.
“For many years France and Germany have been laying down the law in Europe,” said Salvini, adding “Everything has been done based on the Paris-Berlin axis.”
“I am trying to put together an alliance focusing on jobs and families,” Salvini stated. “In Italy we have done better than the governments of Mario Monti and Matteo Renzi, in Europe we’ll do better than Juncker and Schulz.”