Berlin again against the Italian government. And this time to end up in the sights of the German executive, which in recent days had invited Italy to respect the Dublin agreements reiterating that, otherwise, it will not accept to welcome some of the migrants landed at Lampedusais the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosettowho in an interview with The print he defined “very serious” the decision of Germania Of finance NGOs engaged in reception and rescue in Mediterranean. “Saving people who drown and find themselves in difficulty at sea is a legal, humanitarian and moral duty. Like the national coast guards, in particular the Italian one, civil rescuers in the central Mediterranean also carry out a rescue task with their boats, while rescuing people in difficulty at sea”, replied a spokesperson for the executive led by Olaf Scholz. While the Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajanipoints the finger at the other country critical of Italy, the Franceclaiming that on his journey to Paris will explain that “i rejections in Ventimiglia they are wrong”. Macron: “We cannot leave Italians alone, but neither can we welcome everyone”
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In the interview, Crosetto had expressed very harsh judgments towards Germany: “Berlin pretends not to realize that, by doing so, it is putting a country that in theory would be ‘friendly’ in difficulty. Faced with our request for help, is this their response? We didn’t behave the same way back when Angela Merkel convinced the EU to invest in Türkiye billions of euros to block migrants arriving in Germany from Middle East“. However, he maintains that there is no “European plan” against the Italian government.
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The Italian government’s objective, the defense chief then reiterated, echoing the statements of Melons and Salvini of the last days, must be to “take away from them (the smugglers, ndr) the certainty of being able to conduct their trafficking without anyone stopping them. Once a certain limit is exceeded, it almost becomes an act of war. However, a change of approach is needed at European level. I see that the French are blocking the borders with soldiers and police and yet no one says anything.” The question of whether one should answer with a Navy patrol, the minister replies: “The Navy cannot be used. Without authorization to bring people back to where they left from, we would end up playing into the hands of human traffickers and the work of NGOs. Smugglers must be treated the same as international criminals“.
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In the evening, then, he added that “I would have expected help and solidarity in a moment of difficulty, as we Italians are in the habit of doing with all nations when they are in difficulty. It comes naturally to us Italians.” And she reiterates: “As regards rescues at sea, I want to remind our German friends that those carried out by NGOs represent just 5%, while the various Italian institutions, primarily the port authorities, the Financial Police and the Navy, which has among its institutional duties that of rescuing anyone in difficulty at sea, represent the majority of the rescues themselves. If Germany cared about the fate of people in difficulty and really wanted to help us save lives, it could help build what we call ‘Mattei Plan for Africa’, to seriously fight criminals who traffic in human beings and lend a hand to the institutions and bodies, military and civilian, of the Italian Republic. We will be very happy about it.”
However, his words were not liked in Berlin which, after reminding the minister of the duties and commitments undertaken at an international level, explains that “the federal government is working hard to reform the common European asylum system in order to create a sustainable and, above all, supportive system for migration and asylum in theEuropean Unionalso as a basic condition for a system Schengen functioning and for the opening of internal borders”. And regarding funding for NGOs, he adds that “we have received several requests for funding. In two cases the examination of applications has already been completed. The disbursement of funds in these two cases is imminent. This is a project for land-based assistance for people rescued at sea in Italy and a project by a non-governmental organization on rescue measures at sea. The scope of project financing in each case is included between 400 thousand and 800 thousand euros“.
On Sunday, Tajani instead thought about raising tension with the other European power, France: “Tomorrow I will be in Paris and I will tell my colleague Colonna that France made a mistake in Ventimiglia.” Then he comments on Germany’s attitude: “On Thursday I will be in Berlin and I will talk to my German colleague about the German government’s decision to finance NGOs. It’s a strange attitude, we will try to understand why it moves in this way. The problem exists but it must be addressed in a supportive manner, not in a selfish way. We are the southern border.”
Even the president Emmanuel Macronafter the frictions with Pope francescoreturns to the topic and states that “we cannot leave Italians alone”. But he justifies the French closure policies by saying that “most of the migrants” from Lampedusa “come fromSub-Saharan Africa, from countries to which we provide development aid. We must tell them ‘we help you, but you must help us dismantle the organisations’” of the passers-by. Then he tries to ease tensions with the Vatican: “The Pope is right to call for an uprising against indifference. We French do our part. We have a generous social model but we cannot accommodate all the misery in the world.” The French president also spoke of collaboration with the government of Giorgia Meloni saying he wanted to work “with the Italian Prime Minister, he has made a strong choice. Italy is assuming its responsibilities and is fulfilling its role as the ‘first safe haven’. The answer is European.” And she concluded: “I want us to offer to hire experts to dismantle the trafficking networks on their coasts. We’re doing it to Calais with the English, with good results. I want to propose to Georgia Meloni to make it available more resources. Then, when migrants arrive in Lampedusa, Europe must help register them.”