Europe migrants: Italy warns passport-free travel at risk

Larry Hoffman
June 28, 2018

The survey results follow a so-called European Union mini-summit on migration held on Sunday at Merkel's request, which had been prompted by her row with Seehofer over his plans to turn away asylum seekers at the border if they were already registered in other European Union countries.

One proposal from European Council President Donald Tusk is to find spots outside Europe to sort economic migrants from people with legitimate asylum claims.

Europe would beef up its own border force, he said, and strengthen efforts to work with countries like Libya and Balkan states, through which many migrants travel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 27, 2018.

Sunday in Brussels will be an informal European Union summit on migration with the participation of 16 European Union member States, however, breakthrough it is not expected.

Merkel is facing stiff resistance from her Bavarian coalition partner and supposed "ally", Horst Seehofer over his plans to turn back asylum seekers at the German border.

Reactions to Merkel's failure to secure a deal varied but Malte Pieper, a correspondent with German public broadcaster ARD, felt so strongly about the failure she called on Ms Merkel to resign saying: "Clear the Chancellery for a successor whose name is not as loaded as yours is".

"It is very serious - we saw that in the talks, this is not about something small, it is about something central and important".

With an agreement appearing elusive, Germany says it is now pushing for "bilateral, trilateral and multilateral" deals.

Spain's new prime minister Pedro Sanchez attempted to put a positive sheen on the talks, billed as an informal gathering of leaders and one that has highlighted increasingly desperate efforts to appease domestic political rifts in Germany while balancing Italian demands to stop people from arriving on its shores.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he is "definitely satisfied" with the migration summit in Brussels, hailing that European leaders "have the right direction in the current debate".

His appeal came as migration tensions surged on the Mediterranean itself.

Epa06832472 (FILE) - A handout photo made available by German NGO Mission Lifeline shows migrants rescued in global waters of the Mediterranean Sea onboard of the dutch flagged vessel LIFELINE, 21 June 2018 (reissued 23 June 2018).

Italy's defense minister, Elisabetta Trenta, later clarified the coast guard's position.

Italy has accused him of "arrogance" and placed the responsibility for saving migrants in the Mediterranean squarely at the feet of Libya, much of which is lawless.

Earlier this month, Italy's refused to accept another migrant rescue ship, Aquarius.

The centers would be set up near to where migrants often arrive first in Europe.

Malta's home affairs minister, Michael Farrugia, and Italy's transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, engaged in a Twitter war of words on Sunday over which country was being more "inhuman" about the fate of the Lifeline and its passengers.

As with everything linked to migration in Europe, even the meeting in Brussels did not please everybody.

Italy and Austria have joined the four Visegrad countries of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which boycotted the mini-summit, in attacking Brussels' handling of the crisis.

The Sunday meeting, convened by European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker ahead of a formal summit slated for June 28-29, achieved little but showcasing the stress placed on EU solidarity by the festering issue of illegal migration.

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