Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister of Italy, and a long-time socialist, has issued a threat of sorts against other European countries, telling them that if they fail to take in their fair share of migrants and refugees, then his country would stop accepting their forms of currency.
He’s particularly incensed with the push-back of countries like Poland and Hugary to take in migrants.
The European Commission has launched a lawsuit against a handful of its nations, including Poland, to compel them to take in refugees.
Now, Renzi’s promised to push through economic sanctions against those EU countries that don’t take in refugees.
From the Express:
Matteo Renzi said he would use “the iron” fist to force countries in Eastern Europe to “respect the rules” as his country takes the brunt of the escalating migrant crisis.
He said: “Those who cannot stay in Italy must be accepted in Europe, otherwise we will stop transferring money to countries that do not accept quotas.”
The socialist chief’s furious rant comes as Eastern European nations, including Poland and Hungary, continue to refuse to take migrants from Italy under the European Union’s migrant quota scheme.
Fed up of paying for members who lack solidarity, Mr Renzi vowed to punish them by cutting their cash.
They currently receive billions of pounds a year from Western nations in what are known as ‘Cohesion Funds’ – a form of foreign aid designed to bring their economies up to scratch to adopt the euro.
Speaking to to local radio show ‘Radio Anch’io’, Mr Renzi, who is hoping make a return as PM in the next election, said the migrant crisis “will last twenty years”.
He added: “But there are three essential things to do: first, to really help them in their countries of origin, which means, as we did, to increase investment in international cooperation; second, ius soli; and third, the limited number on the basis of integration capacity.”
In mid-June, the European Commission brought a lawsuit against Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary for refusing to accept refugees and violating EU legislation.
Italy has taken in 94,000 or so refugees and migrants this year alone. Another 2,300 have died while trying to cross into the country.
Again, from the Express:
At its shortest distance, the EU country [Italy] is a mere 290 miles from the coast of Libya, a largely lawless country which has seen the number of people smugglers rocket.
Given the short distance to the EU from the North African coast, Italy, is dealing with a higher number of migrants on their shores when compared to other countries on the continent, particularly northern Europe.
Rome has pleaded with Brussels and its neighbours for help in dealing with the influx, with many politicians voicing their frustration over what they see as being abandoned to deal with the issue themselves.
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