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Italy to 'take stock' of EU choices on migration warns Conte

Italy to 'take stock' of EU choices on migration warns Conte

Photo: AFP

Italy's populist premier Giuseppe Conte said his country would "take stock" of the European Union's failure to agree Friday to relocate 150 migrants stranded for days aboard the coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti at the port of Catania.

"Italy can only take stock of the fact that Europe today lost very good opportunity," Conte wrote on Facebook after the emergency EU meeting in Brussels.

From now on Italy "will follow a coherent and determined course of action on all the issues it has to tackle in Europe," Conte wrote.

Italy's hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini has refused to allow the migrants to disembark from the Diociotti until other EU countries have agreed to "step in".

Senior officials from 12 member states held emergency talks in Brussels on Friday which the Commission said was organised find a long-term answer to the migration crisis rather than an immediate solution to the stand-off.

“What we are looking for is a structural, sustainable solution, moving away from this ship-by ship troubleshooting,” said Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein.

Arrivals to Italy have plunged since Italy's populist government took office in June. It has taken a tough stance on migration, demanding the EU do more to share the responsibility of taking in migrants. Salvini has set a controversial goal of zero immigration and has barred charity and international rescue ships from delivering migrants to the country's ports.