Last Update 17:27
Monday, 21 October 2019

Migrant crisis may rip apart 'selfish' EU: Italy's Gentiloni

AFP , Sunday 23 Aug 2015
Gentiloni
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (Photo:Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1001
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1001

A deepening immigration crisis is threatening to rip the "soul" out of the European Union, Italy's foreign minister warned on Sunday.

In a hard-hitting interview, Paolo Gentiloni said the kind of chaotic scenes witnessed this weekend at the Greece-Macedonia border represented a real threat to the free movement of people across the bloc.

Separately, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called for the EU's asylum policy to be overhauled, and for member-states to share the migratory influx "fairly."

"On immigration, Europe is in danger of displaying the worst of itself: selfishness, haphazard decision-making and rows between member states," Gentiloni told Il Messaggero.

"I am very worried. Today it is on this issue that Europe will either rediscover its soul or lose it for good."

Gentiloni urged Italy's EU partners to stop squabbling and start working on a common solution to the crisis.

The alternative, he warned, would be the inevitable collapse of the Schengen accords which allow free travel across much of continental Europe.

"What is at risk is one of the fundamental pillars of the European Union: the free circulation of people," the minister said.

"From the Sicilian coast to Kos, from Macedonia to Hungary and at Calais, tensions are mounting and, over time, they could put Schengen in question.

"Can we imagine a Union without Schengen? A return to the old borders?

"Migrants are not arriving in Greece, Italy or Hungary. They're arriving in Europe. That is why the reception rules have to be 'Europeanised'."

In Germany, meanwhile, the vice chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a fellow Social Democrat, issued a joint call for the EU's asylum policy to be revamped.

"It is necessary to share out refugees in Europe fairly," the two said in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

They also called for a "European asylum code" that would guarantee EU-wide asylum status.

Germany said on August 19 that it was bracing for a record number of 800,000 asylum requests in 2015. It had previously been expecting half a million.

The next biggest number of asylum applications is being registered in Sweden, which is shouldering the biggest burden in the EU in proportion to its size.

The influx has stirred a rise in opinion-poll popularity for Sweden's far-right Sweden Democrats party, and a surge in xenophobic attacks in eastern Germany.

EU interior and foreign ministers will discuss the migrant crisis in mid-October, ahead of a summit in Malta in November, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Thursday.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
1



J.M.Jordan
23-08-2015 01:21pm
0-
0+
Side remark: Hungary has taken in the most for its populaton.
What we all should be thinking about is: How if it was me, my family fleeing for our lives, health and to avert being forced to convert alternatively pay taxes for the creed one has. Would we be delighted to see each country trying to take in as few of as possible. Instead of all of them allowing us to work, providing us with as much also winter-safe housing, blankets, medical care, food and water, assistance to catch up with the language, the forms to be filled in etc. Parallel to collecting sums to help out where inevitably public funds won't be enough. Isn't that correct.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.