In an interview given to Parisian Saturday, November 12, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna returned to the European management of the migration crisis. In the line of sight, Italy’s refusal to welcome the humanitarian ship on its lands ocean viking which had been stagnant for 20 days at sea and in which 234 migrants were found. After this Italian refusal, France was obliged to open its Toulon port to this ship. This is the first time that a boat operating off Libya has landed survivors in France. This generated a diplomatic crisis with Italy. The former spokesperson for Jacques Chirac does not hesitate to warn Giorgia Meloni .
Read also – Ocean Viking: the 230 migrants on board the humanitarian ship disembarked in Toulon
“It is a very strong disappointment on the merits”
In his interview with Le Parisien, Catherine Colonna first of all denounces “lack of humanity” from Italy. “Given Italy’s stubborn refusal and lack of humanity, we exceptionally welcomed the ship”she explains, referring to “a very strong disappointment on the merits”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also wanted to recall the illegality demonstrated by the far-right Italian government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. “Italy respects neither international law nor the law of the sea. The rule is that of the nearest safe port: the ship was near the Italian coast”she develops.
Towards a difficult Franco-Italian relationship?
Catherine Colonna wants to be firm. “There will be consequences if Italy persists in this attitude. For our part, we have suspended the mechanism for relocating migrants from Italy and reinforced controls at the Franco-Italian borders. Rome must be reminded of its duty of humanity. Hoping she gets the message”details the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
But for her part, Giorgia Meloni does not understand the French reaction. “I was very marked by the aggressive reaction of the French government which is incomprehensible and unjustified », declared to the press the head of the Italian government on Friday 11 November. She pleads for a “European solution”.
Intervention of the European Commission
For Virginie Guiraudon, specialist in migration issues at the CNRS, “it is a question of implementing a European decision already taken”, as AFP points out. According to her, a mechanism of “solidarity” European was adopted in June. It provides for a dozen States, including France, to voluntarily welcome 8,000 migrants who have arrived in so-called countries of ” First line “ like Italy. But only 117 migrants have been relocated so far, angering Rome.
Faced with this migratory management, Italy, accompanied by three countries – Cyprus, Malta and Greece – is requesting intervention from the European Commission. Because she has been pleading for years for a compulsory relocation system. The four ministers of these countries denounce the idea that “countries of first entry may be the only possible European landing points for illegal immigrants” and point the finger at humanitarian NGOs whose “private vessels act in total autonomy from the competent State authorities”explains AFP.
Catherine Colonna evokes “a shocking decision” after Italy’s refusal to host the Ocean Viking