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Italy's Renzi calls for national cap on migrant arrivals

Europe
07.07.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - Italy should adopt a cap on migrant arrivals, former premier and ruling party leader Matteo Renzi said Friday, following Rome‘s failed attempts to get European Union partners to take in some of the people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

"It is clear that we need to establish a maximum ceiling of migrants," to allow for their "positive and sustainable" integration, giving consideration to security and rule of law, Renzi said in an advance excerpt of his new book "Avanti" (Forward).

"All of this, of course, reaffirming the need for [migrant] reception [duties] to be shared equitably with other European states. Because excessive immigration is not good for anyone," he said in the book, which comes out on Wednesday.

"Controlling migration is not an act of racism, but of reasonableness," Renzi wrote, arguing that welcoming all those who want to come to Italy "would be an ethical, political, social and ultimately also economic disaster."

Almost 90 per cent of the nearly 96,000 Europe-bound migrants that crossed the Mediterranean since January 1 landed in Italy, according to UN data, and the Rome government insists that more EU burden-sharing is urgent.

Renzi‘s remarks signal a significantly harder line on migration for his centre-left Democratic Party (PD), amid reports that public discontent for mass arrivals contributed to defeats in last month‘s local elections.

The leader of the hard-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, accused Renzi of hypocrisy, writing on Facebook that the former premier had copied policies long championed by Salvini and which used to be labelled "racist."

 

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