Rome

Italy doesn't deserve reproach, France say sorry -Salvini (2)

French ambassador summoned over Aquarius case

Italy doesn't deserve reproach, France say sorry -Salvini (2)

Rome, June 13 - Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told the Senate on Wednesday that the French government should apologise for its criticism of Rome's handling of the case of migrant-rescue ship Aquarius. "We have nothing to learn from anyone in terms of solidarity," said Salvini, who is also deputy premier and leader of the League party. "Our history does not deserve to be reproached in these terms by members of the French government, who I hope apologise". The Italian foreign ministry in Rome on Wednesday summoned the French ambassador after French President Emmanuel Macron called Salvini "cynical and irresponsible" in refusing to allow the Aquarius to offload 629 migrants at an Italian port at the weekend. The spokesman for his En Marche party described Italy's migrant policy as "sickening" Salvini said Macron should prove that he really wants to do something to help the migrant crisis by taking in 9,000 asylum seekers. "Macron should go from words to deeds and tomorrow morning receive the 9,000 migrants he committed to receiving," Salvini said. The minister said that France has taken only 340 of the 9,816 migrants who were meant to be relocated there in three years. "France says that we are cynical but between January 1 and May 31 it turned back 10,249 people at the border, including women and disabled children," Salvini said. He added that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez should continue being "generous" after offering Valencia as a port of safety for the Aquarius. "I thank Spain and Premier Sanchez from the heart," Salvini said. "I hope that he continues to exercise his generosity in the coming weeks, having space to do so". Salvini said Italy receives around 170,000 migrants, compared to 16,000 for Spain.

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