Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has warned that his administration will turn to a new plan other than EU’s proposal to deal with a huge influx of migrants should the European states fail to help Rome settle the crisis.
“If Europe chooses solidarity, good. If it doesn’t, we have Plan B ready. But it would first and foremost hurt Europe,” Renzi said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera daily on Sunday, without providing further details on the new initiative.
He further described the migrant crisis in his country as “a serious issue,” emphasizing, “Let me be clear, Europe’s answers so far have not been good enough.”
Italy wants the European Union to provide greater assistance to Rome in curbing the growing number of immigrants, especially from violence-hit North African states.
The EU has so far failed to reach consensus on its proposed migrant distribution plan, which requires each member state to take in 24,000 refugees. However, Italy still hopes that the EU will reach an agreement on even a larger figure during its upcoming summit on June 25-26.
This year alone over 57,000 asylum seekers and illegal immigrants were rescued at sea and brought to Italy, according to the Italian prime minister. He is now demanding that other EU countries take some of the immigrants and house them in their countries.
The crisis “should not be underestimated,” added Renzi in the interview, warning that the dire situation poses a threat not only to Italy but the entire European Union.
Renzi’s administration is under pressure from political groups, which blame the Rome government for the inaction of EU member states over the migrant crisis.
The Five Star campaign group has called on the government to halt its financial contributions to the European Union unless it helps Rome with the issue of immigrants.
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