Prime Minister Matteo Renzi explained: The crisis “should not be underestimated.. It is a serious issue and, let me be clear, Europe’s answers so far have not been good enough. Redistributing just 24,000 people is almost a provocation.. If Europe chooses solidarity, good. If it doesn’t, we have Plan B ready. But it would first and foremost hurt Europe”. No extra details were provided. Last year, around the same time, approximately 54000 asylum seekers and migrants were rescued at sea and brought to Italy, so far this year the number is close to 57000.
The cost of quickly repatriating would-be economic migrants makes up close to 60 percent of those arriving by boat. Italy wants the European Union to help with this cost. Italy’s PM will raise the issue in Milan this week with his French and British counterparts. He also explained that he needs to raise this topic to European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Dublin convention “should be changed,” Renzi said, insisting the current chaos in Libya – from where many of the boats depart – is “Europe’s responsibility in light of the (military) intervention four years ago” by Nato to help rebels unseat dictator Moamer Kadhafi.