‘We can’t afford to be pro-EU’ Italian MP warns Macron migrant crisis threatens whole bloc

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
By Paul Martin

An Italian MP had a cutting message for French president Emmanuel Macron telling him it was not easy for his countrymen to be as pro-European as the newly elected centrist.

Tue, Jul 4, 2017

Luigi Di Maio, Italian MP from the M5S party took aim the European Union failures in dealing with the migrant crisis, which has disproportionally hit his country.

Di Maio told him in video published by Il Fatto Quotidiano: “Dear President Macron, we do not know each other, we have never got the chance to meet, but I want to take advantage of the power of the Internet to send this message.”

“About 80% of migrants arriving in Europe go through Italy. It’s simple math. Of the approximately 90,000 migrants that landed in 2017 in Europe, some 80,000 arrived in Italy.”

The Italian politician then explained the shocking financial cost to his country and called for more help from the European budget.

“You know that Italy takes care of 98% of the expenses to receive these migrants. Last year, Italians spent about 4.5 billion euros compared to only 100 million euros coming from the EU.”

“We ask the EU and Europe not only to help with the money but also with this phenomenon that involves, for geographical reasons, Italy and the EU border. We are an EU member and we should receive help.”

Macron was swept into power on a wave of pro-EU sentiment – a point which Di Maio raised when he urged for collective action on the crisis on Italy’s shores.

“President Macron, after your victory in France, everyone was talking about the victory of Europeanism. You claim to be pro-EU. But let me tell you something, it’s very easy to be pro-EU with the borders of others, especially with the Italian borders.”

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