02:59 GMT14 April 2021
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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi threatened Sunday to "hurt" the European Union with a new plan on tackling the migrant crisis unless other EU countries provided greater response to the problem.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Italy is currently facing an influx of asylum seekers from North Africa and the Middle East. At the EU leaders' meeting next week, Rome plans to renew calls for a "quota system" that would redistribute some 24,000 refugees from Italy, but some EU nations oppose the plan.

    "If Europe chooses solidarity, it's good. If it doesn't, we have prepared a Plan B, and it would first and foremost hurt Europe," Renzi said in an interview published by the Corriere della Sera daily without specifying the plan's details.

    The Italian prime minister noted that the migrant crisis should not be underestimated, but Europe's response to the problem "have not been good enough so far."

    Renzi added that the situation with migrants in Italy is "tense," despite the fact that the numbers of refugees who have entered the country this year hardly exceed last year's estimates. Italy has received as many as 57,167 asylum seekers in 2015 as of June 13, compared to 53,827 as of the same date in 2014, according to the prime minister.

    In May, the European Commission proposed to use a quota system to relocate some 40,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Italy and Greece, 24,000 and 16,000 migrants respectively, to other EU member states. The number represents approximately 40 percent of asylum seekers arrived in Italy and Greece and who are currently in need of protection, according to the European Commission.


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