Italy-EU Migration Feud EU Boils Over With Italian Threats: Schengen at Risk

Mish

Italy and the EU are in a standoff setup over migration issues. Italy threatens to halt payments to the EU budget.

A migrant ship, the Diciotti, docked at the Italian port of Catania, but prime minister Luigi Di Maio threatened that Italy would cease to become a net contributor to the EU budget unless there is a fair distribution of refugees.

The EU called an emergency meeting but no action was taken.Instead, the EU rebuked Italy for making "Unacceptable Threats".

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that envoys from EU states who met in Brussels on Friday did not reach a deal to share out the 150 migrants on board the Diciotti, an Italian coastguard ship docked in Catania since Monday.

Italy will “act accordingly”, he said on Facebook, noting the EU had failed to live up to its principles of “solidarity and responsibility” and that there was a gulf “between words and actions” that is colored by “hypocrisy”.

More than 650,000 people have reached Italian shores since 2014 and Rome has begun to take a rigidly anti-immigration line, saying it will not let any more rescue ships dock unless other EU states agree to take the people in.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-immigrant League party, has insisted they will not be allowed ashore until other EU states agree to take them in - prompting a criminal investigation into whether the migrants are being held against their will.

Unconstructive comments, let alone threats ... will not get us any closer to a solution,” [EU] spokesman Alexander Winterstein told a news conference on Friday.

Opposition lawmaker, Riccardo Magi, said most on board could qualify for asylum.

Magi petitioned the Catania prosecutor to open a criminal investigation into whether the migrants were being held against their will. Agrigento’s chief prosecutor has opened a probe against “unknown” persons for holding them.

Held Against Their Will?!

Excuse me for pointing out that the ship is free to leave any time it wants.

EU Hypocrisy

Let's also note the EU hypocrisy. Did Germany,France, Spain, the Netherlands, or any other country volunteer to take the migrants?

No, of course not. Rather they insist Italy take them.

Schengen Fatally Flawed

The Schengen agreement states that migrants apply for asylum at the first port of entry. This fatal flaw puts undue and unfair pressure on Italy and Greece, countries with closest first access.

I am all in favor of freedom of movement between countries in the EU.

Extending that freedom of movement to anyone and everyone is a colossal mistake.

Threats

In regards to threats, what the Hell is Italy supposed to do? I support the threats.

Nothing else has a remote chance of working. And take a look at the economic backdrop.

Italy Unemployment Rate

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Italy Youth Unemployment Rate

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Italy Debt to GDP

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Economic Backdrop

The EU hypocrites want Italy, with an unemployment rate near 112%, a youth unemployment rate over 32%, and a massive debt-to-GDP problem to single-handedly take on all migrant comers.

These people generally have no skills, no money, and cannot speak Italian. They will be a drain on resources the government does not have.

If Italy takes in these refugees, there will be millions more of them.

Unfixable Problem

The problem is unfxable!

Why?

For the same reason every EU and EMU (Eurozone) fundamental flaw is unfixable: It takes unanimous consent to change anything.

Germany, France, the Netherlands, nor any other non-port of entry will agree to change the treaty. Italy and Greece will forever be left holding the bag.

Eurobonds cannot happen for the same reason: Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Finland will say no, and it only takes one.

EU trade treaties take forever to negotiate because every country in the EU has to sign off on them. The more countries in the EU, the harder it is to do anything.

Brexit Wisdom

The UK was wise to attempt to get out of this mess. A clean hard break would be best if only UK prime minister Theresa May would see the light.

Simmering Stew

Italy has many problems of its own making of course, but the EU and Eurozone add to Italy's problems. Italy should never have been in the Eurozone.

Meanwhile, the stew simmers. It's only a matter of time before Italy decides it has had enough.

By the way, the US heavily contributed to this migration mess.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (20)
No. 1-8
caradoc-again
caradoc-again

I've no words to describe how ridiculous the whole thing has become. It will bring down upon itself the one thing it was set-up to avoid -- conflict & suffering.

As for the UK, we have our own deep-state determined to drive the country the way it sees fit. All opposition will be sidelined and over-ridden.

A gap is opening up between Governments & Governed, EU & Constituent States. Political misjudgments abound.

ML1
ML1

Italy and Europe as a whole should have a policy of saving people at sea and then taking them back to Africa since Africa has many SAFE countries and many SAFE refugee camps run by UN.

Migrants saved at sea should be first taken back to Libya (where they left and which has UN approved government and which has UNHCR office and IOM office, all the stories about abuse in Libya are committed by the people smugglers and NOT the Libyan government) and then once in Libya all migrants from SAFE countries should be sent back home and migrants who MIGHT have an asylum claim should be taken to one of the many UN refugee camps in Africa where people can live in safety.

Most arrivals in Italy in 2017 were from SAFE countries like Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast etc. and these should be sent back.

Eritreans are also SAFE in Eritrea since Eritreans who have gotten asylum or subsidiary protection in some European Country travel regularly for vacation in Eritrea.

Somalia has been considered MOSTLY SAFE since 2013 by European Court of Human Rights.

Afghanistan is MOSTLY SAFE and 500,000 Afghans have returned there from Iran recently because Afghanistan economy is better.

ML1
ML1

Migrants WANT to go to Italy because Italy has their own category of protection aka "humanitarian protection" that they give to asylum seekers who are NOT eligible for either asylum or subsidiary protection.

EU directives only demand categories of asylum and subsidiary protection and most EU countries only have these categories specified in EU directives.

In 2017 Italy gave over 20,000 "humanitarian protections" to people from mostly SAFE countries. Only other country giving tens of thousands of "humanitarian protections" is Merkel's Germany. All people to whom Italy gave "humanitarian protection" could have been sent back home if Italy would just fix their laws to be just the minimum of EU directives.

I guess Salvini is too busy tweeting angry tweets to fix Italian asylum law and make it compatible with EU directives...

MntGoat
MntGoat

Good for Italy. Finally a European country stands up to this BS. Italy finally got some leadership with backbone that isn't the same politically correct useless leaders the rest of Western Europe have.....you know the kind that just have meetings about meetings about more meetings.

RonJ
RonJ

"By the way, the US heavily contributed to this migration mess."

Syria for one. Libya for another.

killben
killben

"In regards to threats, what the Hell is Italy supposed to do? I support the threats."

So do I. But then Will Italy stick to it when push comes to shove (if yields go up?)

The moment Italy exits, EU gig is up. This is likely to happen when the people vote for it. But then, people all over the world seem to have the following in common:

  1. Susceptible to propaganda
  2. Believe politicians work for them
  3. Will not see things for what they are
  4. Have the ability to take it when made the sacrificial lambs (asks savers, prudent people, retirees if in doubt)
  5. Very short memory (what can you say when you allow train wrecker-in-chief, the Fed, to clear the train wreck that it created and give them more powers and more courage to act-after all the Fed knows now that it can get away with anything)
  6. Only when things get to extreme people can be moved to action (collectively)

Obviously this helps the politicians, government, bureucracy, regulators and all the powers that be to screw them till they bleed, which is when you get a civil war and the like unless people collect together at the first instance of wrong doing and oppose it come what may. This is way to build the character of a country. Not by changing colors the moment bond yield goes up. Bond yields going up is treated up as the end of the world. Why cannot countries look at Argentina and be at peace with the knowledge that you can default and still come back to the market with a 100-year bond (if people's memory is short, bond markets' memory is shorter). It cannot be a painless process but then it is still better (IMHO).

2banana
2banana

Fleeing bombs and not chasing benefits?

Then why don't muslim "refugees" go to rich muslim nations like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Oh, no benefits.

What explains muslim "refugees" getting to safe Turkey (a country not bombed) and they keep moving to Europe? No benefits.

What explains all the African "refugees" from safe and not bombed countries? No benefits.

A massive welfare state cannot exist with massive migration/immigration. It will collapse.

LouisM
LouisM

Whether migrants or refugees, it does not matter. DO NOT EXPECT ITALY TO ROLL OVER TO EU AND GERMAN DICTATES ON BORDERS AND IMMIGRATION AND AUSTERITY. YOU (EU AND GERMANY) WILL ONLY FORCE REBELLION AND POSSIBLE WITHDRAWL FROM THE EU AND SCHENGEN. IF ITALY GOES THEN SO WILL GREECE BUT MORE LIKELY ITALY AND GREECE, BULGARIA AND ROMANIA, MACEDONIA AND CROATIA AND SERBIA AND SLOVENIA WILL ALL JOIN THE VISEGRAD AND CREATE A MAJORITY REBELLIOUS BLOCK THAT THE EU AND GERMANY WILL NOT SURVIVE. SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS STRONGLY PRO-VISEGRAD AND ANTI-MERKEL/MACRON/MAY AND ANTI-IMMIGRATION. THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WILL SUPPORT ANY AND ALL REBELLIONS AGAINST BRUSSELS AND BERLIN...AND IS NOW GEARING UP TO SUPPORT THE WHITE MINORITY IN SOUTH AFRICA.


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