NGO Vessels Brought Thousands of Undocumented Migrants to Italy - Journalist

© AP Photo / Gregorio BorgiaA rubber boat loaded of migrants is seen during a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coasts, Italy, Tuesday, June 23, 2015
A rubber boat loaded of migrants is seen during a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coasts, Italy, Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
Italy’s call for immediate changes to the EU's Operation Sophia during the EU-wide summit of defense and foreign ministers in Vienna yesterday has been rejected. Will this lead to further chaos in the Mediterranean?

Sputnik spoke with Journalist Francesca Totolo for more insight on the issue.

Sputnik: Will Italy leave the migrant rescue agreement and would it be justified?

Francesca Totolo: Definitely yes. The Operation Sofia was part of an agreement made by the previous Italian government, which delegated Italy with the reception of all migrants rescued in the Mediterranean.

In Italy 600,000 illegal migrants have landed from European missions and NGO ships, whilst causing serious internal security problems.

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Italy has spent an average of 5 billion euros a year on the reception of migrants and the EU has allocated only 600 million euros from 2014 until today. All this must change. Italy has clearly voted on this, against immigration and the policy of the previous government, asking for a change.

All the EU leaders’ discussions about migrants have been a failure, no solidarity has been granted to our country. Although the member states of the EU are supposed to be in solidarity regarding immigrants. In short; the EU led by Macron, is only worsening Italian ports.

Sputnik: What do you feel the solution to the ongoing migration crisis could be?

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Francesca Totolo: Italy cannot afford to wait for the expiration of the mandate next December. For this reason; the Italian minister of the interior Matteo Salvini, after the Vienna summit said that if the EU continues to ignore Italy, why should we continue to spend money on a project that puts all the burden on one country.

Minister Luigi Di Maio said a few days ago, that Italy will not send 20 billion euros to Brussels if the EU does not show genuine solidarity in favour of Italy. If the summit scheduled for September in Salzburg will not give the required results, Italy will have to act unilaterally.

Last Tuesday’s meeting in Milan between Italy’s Prime Minister and Hungary’s leader Orban was very positive for future alliances. 78% of Italian citizens demand an end to illegal immigration and the closure of European borders.

In fact for real change in Europe; we’ll have to wait for the European Parliament election in 2019, which will surely have a huge impact.

Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Francesca Totolo and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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