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Migrant crisis on the menu as Macron meets Italian leader

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  • Post category:Politics / World
  • Post last modified:16/06/2018
  • Reading time:2 mins read

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will meet Italy’s new premier Giuseppe Conte Friday to try patch up relations after sparks flew between the two countries over Rome’s rejection of a migrant rescue ship.

Despite efforts by both sides to play down their testy exchanges, the clash underscores the deep divisions in Europe over how to handle the massive influx of migrants from across the Mediterranean in recent years.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is embroiled in a showdown with the right wing of her governing coalition, which is demanding that she immediately ditch her liberal migration policy and tighten border controls. Merkel has pleaded for more time to negotiate with her European partners on a common response ahead of an EU summit on June 28-29.

But there are few signs that European leaders are anywhere near being ready to coordinate their policies despite a looming end-of-June deadline to change the EU’s current asylum rules. In a telephone call Wednesday to turn the page on days of bickering, Macron and Conte called for “new initiatives” to ease the pressure on Italy, Greece, and Spain – the three countries on the frontline of the migrant crisis. “It’s time for collective action,” Macron said afterward. 

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.