Macron meets Italy PM as migrant crisis splits Europe

Conte arrived at the Elysee Palace in Paris for afternoon talks ahead of a press conference, with both smiling as Macron greeted the Italian leader.

Macron meets Italy PM as migrant crisis splits Europe

World Bulletin / News Desk

French President Emmanuel Macron met Italy's new premier Giuseppe Conte Friday to try to patch up relations after sparks flew between the two countries over Rome's rejection of a migrant rescue ship.

Despite efforts by both sides to play down testy exchanges in recent days, the clash underscores deep divisions in Europe over how to handle the massive influx of migrants from across the Mediterranean in recent years.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is embroiled in a showdown with the right wing of her governing coalition, which is demanding that she immediately ditch her liberal migration policy and tighten border controls.

An opinion poll by Infratest Dimap suggests 62 percent of Germans back the tougher stance favoured by her interior minister, including turning back undocumented migrants at the border and deporting rejects faster.

Merkel has pleaded for more time to negotiate with her European partners on a common response ahead of an EU summit on June 28-29.

But there are few signs that European leaders are anywhere near being ready to coordinate their policies despite a looming end-of-June deadline to change the EU's current asylum rules.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2018, 16:33