Escalating Franco-Italian spat puts spotlight on Europe's crumbling asylum policy
The escalating Franco-Italian diplomatic spat, sparked by the Aquarius migrant rescue ship drama, has put the spotlight on Europe's crumbling asylum policy. It also widens one of Europe's main political fault lines.
Euronews spoke to an Italian MEP from the Northern League and a French liberal, friendly with the French president.
"There is hypocrisy on the part of Mr Macron, but there is also a hypocrisy apparent across the entire European Union on the issue of arrivals and managing migrants. Italy has already done too much," said Mario Borghezio, the Italian MEP.
French MEP Nahtalie Griesbeck commented: "The responsibility is collective, and I refuse to enter into battle with Salvini who doesn't respect international law...I trust in President Macron, who has this European will, his own style, which puts Europe first."
Despite the divide, the solutions appear to be the same: stop irregular migration at the source.
Borghezio said: "We need to help Africa and not open our doors to Europe and to millions of migrants for whom we have neither the possibility or the economic or social interest to welcome them."
Griesbeck added: "Instead of letting people get into dinghies and fall prey to traffickers, we should organise European systems in third countries, underwritten by Europe to prevent them from taking to the sea."
The row over the Aquarius has laid bare Europe's inability to solve the migration crisis, but this is exactly what they hope to do in two weeks time at an EU summit.