Italy: Giuseppe Conte wants to stick to the euro

Italy will remain a member of the eurozone, says Italy's new head of government. In asylum policy, it aims to achieve a fairer distribution of refugees in the EU.

Italy: Giuseppe Conte wants to stick to the euro

The new Italian head of government, Giuseppe Conte, wants to stick to euro. "Leaving euro was never a discussion. It is not for discussion, "Conte said at end of a debate in Senate that gave confidence to new government. Italy will remain a member of eurozone. However, he wanted to renegotiate fiscal policy with European Union. Conte's government is supported by Eurosceptic parties five stars and Lega. They had first nominated Paolo Savona as Minister of Economic Affairs, who had referred to monetary union as a "German cage" and demanded Italy's exit from euro as "Plan B". However, President Sergio Mattarella rejected Savona.

Conte also said that he wanted to enter into a new dialogue with European partners – and that "illegal migration" was first test case. In his first speech to Senate, Conte said: "We will put an end to business of immigration, which has grown under guise of a fake solidarity over measure."

In presenting government programme, Italy's head of government called for a mandatory and automatic redistribution of asylum seekers in EU. The government would require a revision of Dublin rules in order to achieve a "fair distribution of responsibilities", Conte said. The Dublin Regulation provides that countries to which migrants first enter must process ir asylum applications. The main arrival countries such as Italy or Greece have refore had a particularly large burden for years.

Conte said that Italy suffers from "selfish border closures" of many Member States. He also spoke of failure with regard to handling of refugee movements.

"We are not and will never be racist"

Both government parties announced, among or things, a renegotiation of EU treaties and a hard exchange rate against immigration. At same time, Conte rejected accusation of increasing xenophobia. "We are not and will never be racist." The government will use rights of those migrants who "legally arrive in our country".

After weeks of political uncertainty on Friday, Conte was sworn in as Italy's new head of government. The largely unknown newcomer to politics was nominated by coalition of populist five-Star Movement and xenophobic Lega.

The new government is committed to a rapprochement with Russia and calls for a renegotiation of European treaties. Conte also promised radical changes, particularly in policy of debt and asylum. His new interior minister, Lega-chef Matteo Salvini, continues to make a mood against foreigners in meantime.

Salvini was not present on Tuesday at a meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg. He had criticized on Sunday that Italy and Sicily could "not be refugee camp in Europe". He could have discussed this with his counterparts in Luxembourg, but EU asylum dispute was on agenda.

According to diplomats, or sourners, such as Greece and Malta, also called for furr proposals for redistribution. But meeting of EU interior ministers once again showed that agreement between all Member States will be difficult to achieve. Today re is "a tougher political climate," said Swedish minister for Migration, Heléne Fritzon, pointing to new Italian government.

Germany criticizes compromise in EU asylum dispute

Previously, Bulgarian EU Presidency had submitted a compromise proposal in asylum dispute. The reform plans foresee that migrants ' asylum applications will continue to be processed in country where y arrive. However, in crisis situations, refugees should be automatically distributed to all or Member States. This reform would relieve Italy and Greece, but in case of several Eastern European countries, re is resistance that generally refuses to take refugee. Therefore, redistribution according to Bulgarian compromise proposal should be made only as a last resort. Upstream would be or support measures for polluted countries such as financial or technical assistance. A decision of Member States with a qualified majority was also needed to start redistribution.

In addition to Eastern European countries, Germany also criticized proposal. There are several shortcomings in this, said German secretary of State Stephan Mayer, who represented Minister Horst Seehofer (both CSU) in Luxembourg. The current state of negotiations is "unacceptable". Mayer criticized in particular that proposal " repatriation of particularly protected persons" does not provide for first entry country.

The issue will now go back to EU Heads of State and Government at ir summit at end of June. Luxembourg's immigration and foreign ministers, in face of difficult situation, remained only fleeing irony: "At Easter we have a compromise," he said. "But I don't know what year."

Date Of Update: 06 June 2018, 12:02

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