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'We must act to stop arrivals' - Italian MEP's migration plea

'We must act to stop arrivals' - Italian MEP's migration plea
By Damon Embling
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'Since most people don't run away from wars and simply think about finding wealth...we cannot allow these people to come to Europe'


As European leaders try to navigate their way out of their feud over migration, Euronews spoke to MEP Angelo Ciocca, from Italy's League party and the Europe of the Nations and Freedom Group. 

Elena Cavallone, Euronews: "This summit is considered essential for the EU, already divided on the migrant issue and the reform of the Dublin regulation. If no agreement is reached, does the EU risk fragmenting even more?"

Angelo Ciocca: "We hope that we can reach an agreement. It's already a success that the European Union's understood that the issue of migrants is a problem which had to be faced years ago and that, so far, has not been addressed.

"I don’t know if it was underestimated to accommodate other inte  rests. Today, finally, Europe deals with this problem that was a burden for years for Italy, which has impoverished the country.

"Statistics show the number of poor people in Italy is increasing, but also the number of poor foreign people is increasing. This means that migration has brought poverty, not opportunities."

Euronews: "Let’s speak about alliances: there is a very strong contradiction over the alliance between the League, Austria and the blockade of Visegrad. Those countries are against the relocation of migrants.

"Can you explain how it's possible on one hand to ask for more solidarity from the EU, and then form an alliance with those who turn their backs?"

Angelo Ciocca: "We seek an alliance not depending on the country, but by based on the objective which is a common sense objective.

"This means that the most important point is not how to distribute the problem. It's how to deal with the problem of migration. Some continue to think that this can be resolved by distributing migrants in Europe. It is not possible to distribute one and a half billion African citizens in Europe, it is not possible to distribute the African poverty in Europe.

"We must act to stop arrivals. If we talk about distributing those who are fleeing the war, then I welcome the alliance with the other European countries, as well as the redistribution. But since most people don't run away from wars and simply think about finding wealth on our continent, then we can not allow these people to come to Europe.

"Because Europe has to deal with the poor Europeans and Italy has to deal with the poor Italians, especially because the economic crisis has put many families in difficulty."

Euronews: "Italy is proposing the creation of hotspots in countries of origin and transit such as Libya and Niger to stop the flow of migrants.

"But just after Salvini's visit to Libya, the Libyan vice-president rejected this idea... it seems that outsourcing the problem of immigration outside the EU is more difficult than expected?

**Angelo Ciocca: "**Difficult things should be a stimulus for Europe. I hope that a Europe that wants to define itself powerful is able to build decent, respectful hotspots to welcome those who run away from war and accompany them in Europe to protect them, but also that discourage those who have the illusion of coming to Europe to find wealth."

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