Italy PM meets French leader amid tensions over migration

Italy PM meets French leader amid tensions over migration

She added that in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had opened the country up to refugees, today faces "a serious internal crisis" where her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer takes a hard line against her.

Most of the refugees were fleeing persecution and war in countries such as Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan. Authorities at the time were overwhelmed with a flood of asylum applications.

The French government was more conciliatory Wednesday, when the Foreign Ministry said France recognized the burden Italy has carried.

Gabriel Attal, the spokesman for Macron's party, called Italy's actions "nauseating".

Italy was criticized - and praised - this week for refusing to let a humanitarian rescue ship dock. It originally carried 629 migrants but some were later moved onto two Italian vessels escorting it to Spain. Both ships fly Dutch flags.

The French leader, who has taken a tough line on migration from African countries that are not at war, said Thursday that "none of his comments were meant to offend Italy".

The Trenton rescued the 40 migrants Tuesday. German aid group Sea-Watch said the migrants were picked up after their rubber dinghy sank and the Navy also had recovered the bodies of 12 people. "Some children have had the soles of their shoes cut off before being sent back to Italy", said Chiara Romagno, Oxfam's OpenEurope project leader in Ventimiglia.

The ship is now sailing to Valencia in Spain.

Calls and emails to the 6th Fleet were not answered late Friday.

Conte said Italy is working on a proposal for a "radical paradigm change" in Europe's approach to managing mass migration that includes creating "hotspots" in the most common countries of origin and departure to identify asylum candidates.

Vienna also confirmed it is working with countries like Denmark on a plan that had been considered unlikely: building camps (dubbed "reception centres") outside the European Union to separate genuine asylum seekers from economic migrants.

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"They should know that Italy no longer wants to be an accomplice in the business of illegal immigration and therefore they will have to aim for other, non-Italian, ports", Salvini said.

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

These "centres of European protection" would "anticipate and speed up identification and requests for asylum", he said. Malta refused, saying it wasn't involved in the rescue.

Children as young as 12 and other vulnerable migrants have physically abused, detained and forcibly returned to Italy by French border guards in breach of global norms, Oxfam said on Friday. 'Without refrigerated storage, the rescuers were forced to abandon the cadavers at sea.

Nine rescue boats, a helicopter and an airplane from the European border agency, Frontex, are taking part in the operation.

At least 792 migrants have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to the United Nations. "If Italy has had 18,000 asylum applications in the first four months of 2018, France has had 26,000". "We are wrong to have become so anglicized", he said, in French.

The report comes amid a clash over migration between Italy and France and as French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting Friday with Italy's new prime minister.

"Then they pushed us in a van in the railway station auto park".

The continuing arrival of boatloads of undocumented migrants in southern Europe will be a key issue at an European Union summit on 28-29 June.

Rome had been outraged when French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, apparently quoting Macron, said Italy had acted with "a form of cynicism and a measure of irresponsibility".

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