Italy-Germany Tensions Rise Over Migrant Rescues, While France Offers Collaboration

Tensions have been escalating between Italy and Germany following revelations that Berlin is providing financial support to NGOs engaged in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean. Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport from the Northern League, expressed his strong disapproval on Instagram, accusing foreign governments of contributing to the influx of illegal immigrants into Italy by funding foreign private organizations. Salvini deemed this situation “shameful” and “unacceptable.”

Germany’s Foreign Ministry accepted responsibility for funding NGOs involved in search and rescue operations for migrants at sea. Italy’s Defense Minister, Guido Crosetto, responded by emphasizing the importance of help and solidarity during challenging times, citing Italy’s tradition of providing assistance to other nations in need.

Crosetto also pointed out that rescue operations conducted by NGOs constitute only 5% of the total, underscoring that Italy has saved thousands of people even without NGO assistance. He criticized the idea that addressing migration issues can only be achieved through NGO financing, asserting that it is an inappropriate approach to the problem.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani is scheduled to meet with his German counterpart in Berlin on September 28 to discuss what he has termed a “strange attitude” from Germany. Tajani stressed the need to address the issue in a supportive manner, given Italy’s role as the southern border of Europe.

Meanwhile, tensions with France appear to be easing, as President Macron extended an offer of collaboration to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Macron emphasized the necessity of a European response to the migrant issue, a sentiment that was welcomed by Prime Minister Meloni. She expressed Italy’s commitment to assuming its responsibilities and working with European institutions and allies to address the problem and combat human trafficking networks.

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