Rome and Brussels met hand to hand again

Rome and Brussels met hand to hand again

Italy threatened to block the adoption of the next budget of the European Union and stop paying contributions, but in response, she heard an unequivocal threat of tough sanctions.

The Italian government is not in power even a hundred days, but has already managed several times to seriously quarrel with Brussels. Most attitudes relate to migrants. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Italy and the leader of the far-right Liga party, Matteo Salvini, began to stand in the way of refugees trying to get from Africa to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea and Italy.

Salvini, who is now the undisputed political leader of Italy, has repeatedly put forward European Commission ultimatums demanding to ferry African refugees to some other European country, but neighbors are very reluctant to accept Africans.

At the request of Rome, Brussels even gathered an extraordinary summit devoted exclusively to the problem of migrants. It adopted a number of decisions, the most important of which is considered the agreement on opening centers for receiving migrants both in the EU and in Africa. However, the agreement is made in such vague terms and is so vaguely written that problems arise with its implementation.

Last week, Rome refused to accept another ship with migrants - Diciotti, and at the same time threatened Brussels to block the adoption of the EU budget and stop paying contributions, since the rest of the EU do not comply with the Italian proposal for migrants. At the end of last week, Luigi Di Mayo, Italy’s deputy prime minister and leader of the Five Stars movement in the ruling coalition, said his party refuses to pay € 15–20 billion into the European treasury because EU members refuse to take Italy has migrants.

The next day, Rome received a response from Brussels.

“If Italy refuses to make its contribution to the European budget,” said European Commissioner for Budget Günther Oettinger, “this will happen for the first time in the history of the European Union.” This is a violation of contractual obligations, it will result in the adoption of tough sanctions against Italy. "

Di Mayo made his threat on the eve of the Friday meeting of the ambassadors of 12 European countries with the hope that at least some decision would be made that would suit the Italians. However, the ambassadors, as predicted by political analysts, dispersed without agreeing on anything. At the meeting, by the way, the representative of Italy repeatedly tried to reduce the discussion to the ship, which for nearly a week stood with 150 migrants in the Sicilian port of Catania, but other participants objected that they had come to discuss a common strategy, rather than specific issues.

“We will consider all measures regarding the European budget,” said Luigi Di Mayo in a video message on his Facebook page, “and block what does not suit us. Other European states do not do what they don’t like. ”

Meanwhile, now that it has become clear that Brussels and the rest of Europe are not going to take migrants from Italy, Di Mayo and even more militant Salvini have to do something with financial threats. Opinions in the government are divided. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, after returning the ambassador from Brussels, empty-handedly stated that Italy would not leave it without consequences. However, his subordinate, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero, said that all members of the EU, including Italy, are obliged to pay contributions.

As for the last ship detained by the Italians, its passengers were still allowed to go ashore, but only after they were all dismantled: Albania and Malta agreed to take 20 migrants and a hundred people were sheltered by Catholic bishops of Italy.

What is happening in the Mediterranean resembles a child's play, who will blink first. What will happen next is not difficult to predict. It remains to wait for the entry into the Italian port of the next ship with migrants. The Italian authorities will once again forbid them to go ashore, and anxious waiting will begin again until someone agrees to accept the Africans.
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