- Title: Italy, France agree migrants must be distributed around the EU
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** MACRON AND CONTE ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "Our approach must respond to three needs: first there is a need for humanity. The conflict cannot be solved at the expense of human lives. Accepting that there are people stuck in the sea and that they risk drowning. Secondly, there must be a need for solidarity that is too often lacking in Europe. The European Union has not given sufficient proof of solidarity with the countries of first arrival, in particular with Italy. And France is ready to change on this point in the context of the complete revision of the Dublin agreements." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "As has been said by the president (Giuseppe) Conte, on the different international issues, we have really joined our commitments. On Libya, in the last few years has been the subject of a real convergence because we have been able to work together, giving sure messages to our partners and I am very pleased that you met (premier of the Tripoli government Fayez) Al-Sarraj today. And we are both convinced that the way out will be found only with a political compromise and dialogue. This is what we have also argued at the G7 of Biarritz, defending the idea of an international conference for Libya that includes all the interested parties and an inter-Libyan conference that allows reconciliation between all the forces on the territory." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER, GIUSEPPE CONTE, SAYING: "Migration is a complex phenomenon, we Italians are very aware of it, and it is essential for Europe that it turns the page towards a structural management that is no longer based on emergency for migratory flows. Italy has always asked for it with consistency. We need to get the migration issue out of propaganda, from the perspective of an anti-European propaganda. We must continue to offer a rigourous answer." MEDIA MACRON AND CONTE SHAKING HANDS AND LEAVING
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 21:54
- Keywords: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte French President Emmanuel Macron Italy politics Italian government
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003AX6RHON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The European Union must introduce a new, automatic system of taking in migrants saved from the Mediterranean, the leaders of Italy and France said on Wednesday (September 18) as they sought to patch up bruised bilateral relations.
Italy has long complained that it has been left alone to deal with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed the sea in recent years looking for a better life in Europe.
The issue has caused particular tensions between Rome and Paris, but French President Emmanuel Macron has leapt on the fact that a new, pro-European government has taken office in Italy to try to reset ties and resolve this long-standing row.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, speaking alongside Macron, said he had received French backing for a system to handle the redistribution of migrants, meaning that Italy could rely on the entire 28-nation bloc to accept automatically a share of all the new arrivals as soon as they were rescued.
Macron, speaking through an interpreter, said EU countries that refused to take part in the scheme should be "seriously penalised". They did not provide further details, saying only that the issue would soon be discussed by EU interior ministers.
"The issue of immigration must no longer fuel anti-European propaganda," Conte said, referring to his previous coalition partner, the far-right League, which has seen its popularity surge thanks to its anti-migrant agenda.
(Production: Oriana Boselli, Gabriele Pileri)
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