France backs sanctions on EU states that refuse migrants

The European Union states that refuse to accept migrants should face financial penalties, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday, prompting a furious response from Rome on the eve of an emergency mini-summit in Brussels about the escalating crisis dividing Europe.

Macron’s comments came after Italy’s new populist government defiantly declared that its ports were closed to foreign-flagged rescue ships, after accusing fellow EU members of failing to share the burden of migrant arrivals.

Speaking at press conference after talks in Paris with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the Fresh president said: “You can’t have countries that massively benefit from the solidarity of the European Union and that massively voice their national selfishness when it comes to migrant issues.”

Macron also said France favored financial sanctions for EU countries that refuse migrants with proven asylum status.

The French and Spanish leaders also supported the creation of closed reception centers, located in the countries where migrants often arrive first, to hold asylum-seekers while their claims are processed.

Macron said European cooperation had managed to cut migration flows by close to 80 percent and problems stemmed from “secondary” movements of migrants within Europe. “The reality is that Europe is not experiencing a migration crisis of the same magnitude as the one it experienced in 2015,” he added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency