Posted on July 19, 2017

EU on Brink as Italy Threatens to Hand Out 200,000 Visas to Migrants if Help Doesn’t Come

Darren Hunt, Express, July 19, 2017

Migrants from Africa in Italy

African migrants in Italy. (Credit Image: © Michele Amoruso/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire)

Italy are continuing to push “hard” with the European Union to help with the massive migration problem according to the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister.

Mario Giro claimed that the Italians were having to negotiate hard with the bloc in order to help them resolve the current migration problem.

Some European countries, such as Poland and Hungary are facing losing funding from the European Union as they have taken a hardline stance against taking in their migrant quota.

Speaking on Al Jazeera, Mr Giro insisted that the country would not start handing out visas to migrants after a threat was being discussed.

He said: “We are not preparing to deliver unilaterally visa.

“The only thing that we are asking Europe is to let relocation function.

“This is very important symbolically and politically.”

The deputy foreign minister insisted that the Italian’s were having to fight hard to negotiate a resolution with the Brussels bloc.

He continued: “We are continuing to push because in Europe you know, particularly multilaterally, in general, the only thing that counts is hard negotiation.

“We are hardly negotiating on this issue with Europeans particularly.

“We are also doing a good job in the south with Libyans on one side and Africans on the other side.

“Migration is a global affair to be globally resolved.”

Mr Giro also voiced his concerns that the migration issue could play a massive role in recent elections in Germany and Italy.

“This is a very political and controversial issue,” he added.

“The question of welcoming refugees coming from Africa and also from Asia… it is a controversial question.

“We think that we need a European Common Policy on one side and in the countries not to let the populist to have political space, we also need a partisan policy.”

In a bid to deal with the crisis, Italy threatened to invoke wartime legislation to hand out 200,000 temporary EU visas to asylum seekers which would allow the migrants to legally travel north using a Brussels directive.

The Italian Government believes that they can exploit European Council Directive 2001/55, which was put in place after the Balkans conflict to give temporary European entry permits to a large number of displaced people.

Mr Giro and Luigi Manconi, a senator with the ruling Democratic Party, confirmed to The Times that the visa idea was being discussed.

Official figures show that at least 86,000 migrants have arrived in Italy this year alone.

Mr Giro told Il Manifesto: “We are in a tug of war.

“We don’t accept being turned into a European hotspot, or feeling guilty because we rescue people, so deciding what to do with the migrants who arrive is everyone’s responsibility.”