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Italy proposes migrant centers in Africa to halt immigrant tide

Italy proposes migrant centers in Africa to halt immigrant tide

Salvini's tough talk came on the eve of an informal mini-summit of 16 leaders in Brussels to address the thorny issue of how the European Union can tackle the renewed influx of migrants and refugees seeking a new life in Europe.

Hundreds of people fleeing conflict and persecution at home are caught in the midst of a worsening row over how to deal with the influx against a backdrop of mass drownings in the Mediterranean in recent years.

Sunday in Brussels will be an informal European Union summit on migration with the participation of 16 European Union member States, however, breakthrough it is not expected.

He was referring to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has refused to accept humanitarian ships carrying migrants to Italian ports.

Unable to agree, they have become more restrictive on asylum and tightened their external borders to let fewer people in.

But the German operators of the Lifeline hit out at Salvini for referring to its passengers as a consignment of "human flesh".

The plight of the stranded migrants lent a sense of urgency to the meeting in Brussels, which was riven with divisions and snubbed by countries taking a hardline on the issue.

Reactions to Merkel's failure to secure a deal varied but Malte Pieper, a correspondent with German public broadcaster ARD, felt so strongly about the failure she called on Ms Merkel to resign saying: "Clear the Chancellery for a successor whose name is not as loaded as yours is".

Merkel came here looking for European solutions, even bilateral or temporary ones, to tamp down the challenge to her leadership and to the principle of border-free travel.

But he blamed the migration crisis for putting the "European project" in danger.

Before the meeting had even begun, divisions were on display, as Italy and Malta traded insults over which nation was responsible for a boat of 234 migrants adrift in worldwide waters.

"Each state establishes entry quotas for economic migrants", the document, seen by Reuters said.

Mr Seehofer said last week that Mrs Merkel had two weeks to reach an agreement with her European partners on immigration.

"UNHCR is now preparing a proposal in this respect, together with the International Organization for Migration, which we will share with you shortly", Grandi said in his letter, dated June 18 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Italy and Austria have joined the four Visegrad countries of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which boycotted the mini-summit, in attacking Brussels' handling of the crisis.

Macron's comments drew a furious reaction from Italy's new populist government.

Under the EU's so-called Dublin rules, asylum-seekers must be processed in the country where they first arrive, usually Italy, Greece and Spain.

European Union leaders last December had set the end of June as a deadline to reform the rules by establishing a permanent mechanism to distribute asylum-seekers throughout the bloc - but an agreement has proved elusive.

An asylum seeker from the Horn of Africa stands in a tented camp set up by the Baobad aid group, on the outskirts of Rome, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

At the center of the impasse is a disagreement about who should bear the ultimate responsibility for handling an asylum seeker's claim. Germany's new hard-line interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has given her until the end of June to curb new migrant arrivals.

The Lifeline, which is operated by German charity Mission Lifeline, picked up around 230 migrants in the Mediterranean on Thursday.

Political developments in Italy, a major migrant landing point, and in wealthy Germany, their top destination, have brought the EU's political crisis back.

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