Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

European Union leaders meet as divisions cloud asylum and migration talks

European Union leaders meet as divisions cloud asylum and migration talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is battling a domestic political crisis with her coalition partners over migration, played down hopes that a full European Union summit starting on Thursday will clinch any comprehensive agreement on how to deal with migration and refugees.

Discussions are set to continue over a formal European Union summit of the bloc's 28 leaders in Brussels on Thursday.

"It is about give and take, as we did in the EU-Turkey agreement", said Merkel.

The urgency of finding a solution was highlighted by the plight of the Lifeline, the second rescue vessel left adrift in the Mediterranean after Italy and neighbouring Malta refused it permission to dock.

The problem was crystalized last week in a row between Italy's new populist government, Malta and France over who should take responsibility for 630 people rescued from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the main departure point for people trying to reach Europe.

Far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini also reacted furiously in remarks reported by Italian media.

Amid signs of nervousness from some in the CSU over their collision course with Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel sent a conciliatory message to the CSU, describing its 70-year-old alliance with her Christian Democrats (CDU) as a "bond of fate". We saw it when Spain welcomed the Aquarius with open arms after Italy refused it. Italy would like asylum-seekers in Europe to be "shared" amongst member states, something Germany actually agrees with.

Merkel's ally in pursuit of European solidarity on migration, French President Emmanuel Macron, threatened non-compliers with economic sanctions ahead of the meeting, saying the EU can not have members, which "benefit hugely from EU solidarity and claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants".

The four former communist states, who have ducked out of Sunday's talks, have always been opposed to taking in migrants. The refugees were allowed to dock in Valencia and claim asylum in Spain.

Second deputy dies in shooting in Kansas
Fielder was a free man until this February when he was charged with a different murder in Kansas City, Missouri from 2017. Kansas City police have fatally shot a woman who barricaded herself in a shed after she was seen outside with a sword.

England cricketers have some fun with debate over World Cup line-up
You'll be able to watch England in action again on Thursday, June 28, as they take on Belgium, with the match kicking off at 7pm. Southgate has now officially confirmed Alli will sit the game out after informing his players of the starting XI to play Panama.

North Korea, China leaders agree to boost 'strategic, tactical' cooperation - KCNA
The officials weren't authorized to discuss the preparations before an official announcement so spoke on condition of anonymity. USA officials are looking for signs that North Korea intends to follow through with its stated desire to denuclearise.

"Let the Libyan authorities do their work of rescue, recovery and return (of migrants) to their country, as they have been doing for some time, without the ships of the voracious NGOs disturbing them or causing trouble", he said.

A potential failure to stem the flows of asylum seekers into Germany raises the possibility of a mutiny by Merkel's Bavarian coalition partners, which has threatened to defy the chancellor, risking a historic rift that could deny her alliance its majority.

With a populist backlash over her initial open-door policy toward asylum-seekers, Merkel emerged weakened in recent elections.

If she fails to get at least bilateral deals to ease the burden on Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, head of the CSU, has said he will defy Merkel and introduce border controls.

There was tension between Italy and France, too. The current rules effectively mean migrants only can apply for asylum in the country where they first arrive, usually Italy or Greece.

Yet agreement on a broad, overarching migration plan appeared elusive, and the summit was handicapped from the start, after being boycotted by eastern European countries deeply hostile over pressure to take in more asylum-seekers.

Malta's home affairs minister, Michael Farrugia, and Italy's transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, engaged in a Twitter war of words on Sunday over which country was being more "inhuman" about the fate of the Lifeline and its passengers.

Merkel convinced a reluctant Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to attend Sunday's talks by telling him pre-written conclusions had been withdrawn, Italian officials said.

Like this: