France is ready to help Italy. This is in essence the message conveyed on Sunday by government spokesperson Olivier Véran on the set of the RTL-Le Figaro-M6 “Grand Jury”. The cause is the approximately 8,500 migrants from Africa who landed in a few hours on the small island of Lampedusa, located about a hundred kilometers from the Tunisian coast. “It is as Europeans that we will cope with the most efficiency and humanity (...). It is not by working alone, everyone at home, against each other, that we will get there,” said the delegate minister. This, while the nationalists of Reconquest and the National Rally want to rely on this new migratory crisis to launch the European election campaign, with a view to the June 2024 vote.
Arriving in Lampedusa on Sunday morning, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, called on Member States to take their part in the migration crisis facing the Old Continent. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, must therefore go there in the “coming days”. No doubt to renew the message from Emmanuel Macron, who already said he was ready on Friday to honor “a duty of European solidarity” with the Italian neighbor, announcing that work was “in progress” between the two transalpine governments. “We cannot welcome everyone, but there are people who justify that France and Europe respect this tradition of welcoming people who are in danger,” confirmed Olivier Véran. “Some of these migrants are intended to stay in the European Union because they are in danger in the country where they come from,” he continued.
The boss of the RN, Jordan Bardella, for his part asked the head of state not to welcome “a single one” on French soil. “We are talking about people who crossed the Mediterranean on makeshift boats,” said the government spokesperson. There are people who have a sexuality that is not compatible with the laws, who risk the death penalty. There are people who fled in total distress.”
However, there is no question of giving the impression of opening wide the doors of France. “When you arrive in a European country, there must be a careful examination of your situation to know whether you intend to stay in Europe,” recalled the Minister Delegate.
If the French executive plays the solidarity card, it is Italy which will be in charge of processing asylum requests before distribution to the different countries, as stipulated in the Dublin regulation. “We would like this to be done in Italy to know who is covered by the right to asylum and who is not,” said Olivier Véran. A thorny issue which should not make the government's task easier as it approaches the examination of the immigration bill, scheduled for the fall in Parliament.