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Macron wants asylum centres to hold migrants

28 June 2018

He stated his views one day before a summit of 15 European leader in Brussels, Belgium, about the migration issue.

As you know, the countries that categorically refuse to accept asylum-seekers according to certain quotas, the European Union includes countries of the "Visegrad four": Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia announced a boycott of the meeting.

Mrs Le Pen added French President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs Merkel, his top EU ally, had "isolated themselves on the European scene" due to their soft approach on illegal immigration.

Merkel, who is scrambling to prevent a mutiny in her government over migration, admitted there were still "some differences" but also "a great deal of common ground".

"We can not have countries that would greatly benefit from the solidarity of the European Union, please declare your national self-interest when the topics relate to migration", stressed macron during a press conference with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.

In recent days, Italy has refused to accept two migrant rescue ships.

Italy's defence minister Elisabetta Trenta later said that the new stance did not mean Italy would shirk on its worldwide commitments.

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But Conte also wants to split responsibility of processing asylum claims of anyone disembarked from rescue boats in the Mediterranean Sea, in a nod to MS Aquarius, an NGO rescue ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders.

Referring to hasty arrangements and a domestic crisis over migration policies within Merkel's coalition government, the fervently anti-migrant Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, said: "We understand that countries have domestic political difficulties, but this can't result in pan-European confusion".

Although no formal agreements were reached today, ahead of a full summit on Friday, the toughened attitudes towards migrants were on stark display.

German charity Mission Lifeline, whose rescue ship with nearly 240 African migrants aboard has been denied entry by Italy, Sunday fired back at Rome's far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini. Along with Austria, the four countries strongly oppose migrant quotas that would see them taking in more migrants, citing security risks.

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 global waters.

They mostly live in countries like Greece and Italy - both long overwhelmed with arrivals - or wealthy states like Germany or Sweden, where they choose to try to start a new life.

Macron urged a European solution, "whether that is cooperation among 28 or among several countries that decide to move forward together".

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The centers would be set up near to where migrants often arrive first in Europe.

When leaving the summit, his German counterpart Angela Merkel told reporters that "we are all responsible for all issues".

Macron also said France favoured financial sanctions for EUcountries that refuse migrants with proven asylum status.

If that fails, he has vowed to order border police to turn back migrants, which means many will likely have to return to Italy.

With plans to reform Europe's asylum laws bogged down, European Union leaders will in coming days affirm their intention to stop migrants leaving north African shores by paying countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia to hold people until their eligibility for asylum can be established.

The EU struck the deal with Turkey in March 2016 and engaged Libyan coast guard in cracking down on migrant trafficking, following the peak year of 2015 which saw more than 1 million irregular migrants flocking to Europe.

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Macron wants asylum centres to hold migrants