Italy presented a new proposal for dealing with migrant flows to European Union partners on Monday, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said.
“We need a structured, stable mechanism,” Moavero told newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview. “Migrants are seeking to go to Europe, not to Italy, Malta or Greece.”
Moavero said he is in favor of a new European naval effort to control migration only if those rescued at sea aren’t all transferred to Italy. He also added that the EU should organize direct flights to Europe from the home countries of migrants who are eligible for asylum.
Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini has repeatedly criticized the European Union for failing to find a way to control the flow of migrants flooding Italy from North Africa. More than half of all immigrants entering Europe in the past three years have arrived in Italy.
Salvini, the head of the right-wing League party, has adopted a strict anti-immigration stance since his party took power with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement last year. Salvini, who also serves as interior minister, has sought to block ships with immigrants from arriving at Italian ports.