Percorso:ANSA > Nuova Europa > Albania > Meloni-Mitsotakis, Mediterranean axis for immigration

Meloni-Mitsotakis, Mediterranean axis for immigration

Italian PM in Athens, with Greece pressing for aid in Africa

31 August, 21:30

By envoy Paolo Cappelleri (ANSA) - ATHENS, 31 AGO - The European Union must more strongly recognize the demands of Mediterranean countries on migrant management: Italy and Greece are united by this goal, one of the focuses of the meeting between Giorgia Meloni and Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens, where the premier flew in the evening for a lightning visit. A face-to-face meeting followed by a working dinner between two leaders from different backgrounds who nonetheless defend aligned national interests at the moment, and who could also put up a united front in the complex negotiations in Brussels on the new Stability Pact. Not to mention that, according to many observers, the Greek prime minister represents for the leader of FdI and the European Conservatives a bridge with the EPP. Meloni fresh from a visit to Caivano and Mitsotakis from a tense parliamentary debate on the fires that have plagued her country, found themselves at Maximos Palace. In recent months they have both had to deal with a massacre of migrants, that of Cutro and that off the coast of Pylos, tragedies of a phenomenon that shows no signs of abating along the routes of the central and eastern Mediterranean.
    A complex situation to handle. In recent days an anti-racist movement had announced protests against the choice of the Greek government of Nea Dimokratia to collaborate with the center-right Italian government "in the war against refugees and immigrants." Rome and Athens are focusing in particular on cooperation with African countries of origin and transit, strengthening bilateral relations. Meloni and Mitsotakis could join efforts in moral suasion on the European Commission to release funds granted to Tunisia. But above all, they are asking Brussels to handle the problem in an integrated way, while waiting for negotiations on the new Migration and Asylum Pact to be completed, and for the relocation system to really work.
    Another negotiation on which Rome and Athens have overlapping interests is that on the Stability Pact.
    Meloni insists on the need for flexibility and the decoupling of green and digital transition investments, as well as defense investments, from the calculation of the debt-to-GDP ratio. In the hours before the meeting there were rumors of a rejection coming from Brussels over the Italian proposals.Certainly, no signs of openness have come so far, and among Palazzo Chigi and Mef there is an awareness of the risk that the new European financial governance will not be defined before the end of the year."Everything is open," it is explained, without denying the need at that point for a buffer period.To cope with Germany's push, Italy is trying to weave alliances with France, Spain and other southern European countries.Including precisely Greece.Whether this front will take shape will be clearer at upcoming multilateral meetings, the informal Ecofin on September 15, the informal summit of heads of state and government on October 6 and ten days later the Eurogroup.
    Among the investments that Italy would like to spin off is spending on Ukraine.Support for Kiev is another of the international issues discussed between the two premiers, along with the crisis in Niger, the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans, where Italy plays a mediating role and Athens is experiencing a period of tension with the government in Tirana.Open dossiers also include economic cooperation (from 2021 to 2022 the interchange increased from 9 billion to over 11 billion) and especially energy.These range from the electrical interconnection between the two countries to the search for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean area.Eni (whose explorations in southern Cyprus have to contend with Turkish disputes over disputed waters), Enel Green Power, Fincantieri, Italgas, Snam, and Terna operate in Greece.Then in defense, Fincantieri is banking on Greece, which is bidding for corvettes for the Hellenic Navy (a roughly 2 billion deal), competing with France's Naval Group.Also making its debut in Greece is Atm, the Milan transport company, which under a 250 million contract (through 51 percent subsidiary Thema) will operate the Thessaloniki metro, the first automatic in the country. (ANSA).

© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved