Saturday

22nd Jul 2017

Italy threatens EU budget veto over migration

  • Italy helped rescue over 2,000 people on Monday (Photo: Frontex)

Italy is threatening to veto the EU budget if it doesn't get more help with migration.

Prime minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday (25 October) said he would block the budget unless countries like Hungary and Slovakia take in more asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“Italy cannot take another year like the one we’ve just had,” he said in an interview with RAI state television.

Over 153,000 people disembarked from north Africa in 2015 to Italy in an effort to seek asylum or find a better future in Europe. Around the same number have reached the country so far this year, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). Some 3,195 died in the attempt.

The Italian coast guard is also coordinating large scale rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

They plucked 5,900 from the sea over the weekend alone with the help from vessels deployed by EU's border guard Frontex and NGOs. Another 2,200 were saved on Monday in 21 rescue missions.

Meanwhile, just under 1,400 people have been relocated from Italy under an EU-wide two year scheme to distribute asylum seekers to other EU states that was launched in September last year.

None have been sent to Hungary, Poland or Slovakia.

Renzi then pointed out that Italy's contribution to the EU budget is about €20 billion.

"If Hungary or Slovakia preach to us about migrants and don't give us a hand, and then want our money, in 2017, when the discussion on the budget starts, let Italy be alongside the government in saying there's no way, absolutely," he was quoted as saying in Italian news agency Ansa.

Renzi had also demanded that the number of people arriving from North Africa slows by early next year.

Italy is one of the main drivers behind EU-led efforts to sort deals with a handful of African states to curb migration flows by the end of the year.

Leaders at a summit in Brussels last week promised to intensify cooperation with governments in Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali and step up returns and readmission of people not entitled to international protection.

Formal talks with Nigeria have since kicked off to send economic migrants packing from the EU as part of a bigger €60 billion investment package.

Nigerians surpass all other nationalities that arrived by sea to Italy this year, followed by Eritreans and then people from Sudan.

Renzi has in the past voiced frustration over the lack of support from other EU states ahead of a key referendum on Italy's constitutional reform in December.

EU buries migration dispute for now

This week's EU summit will take no new decision on how to manage the migration crisis. But differences of approach remain between member states.

Poland defies EU on rule of law

Prime minister Szydlo said the European Commission concerns over rule of law in Poland were political grudges.

Italy's 'nuclear option' on migrants unravels

Media has reported that Italy may issue visas to migrants to allow them to travel further north. But the plan is unlikely to work due to EU rules underpinning such decisions.

Austria readies for migrant border surge

Foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to toughen up measures against Libyan migrant smugglers amid Austrian claims it is ready to "protect" its borders from any sudden mass migrant movements from Italy.

EU backs Italy on NGO rescues

The European Commission has said that the EU and Italy merely want to “better organise” migrant rescues in the Central Mediterranean.

EU to scale back Greek asylum aid

The Greek government is set to take over running services provided by EU-funded NGOs for stranded migrants and asylum seekers in August. The lack of clarity and state plans for the transition is raising alarm.

Austria readies for migrant border surge

Foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to toughen up measures against Libyan migrant smugglers amid Austrian claims it is ready to "protect" its borders from any sudden mass migrant movements from Italy.

EU backs Italy on NGO rescues

The European Commission has said that the EU and Italy merely want to “better organise” migrant rescues in the Central Mediterranean.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary