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EU tensions flare over migrants as Macron blasts Italy

AFP  |  Paris 

French Emmanuel today accused of "cynicism and irresponsibility" over its refusal to take in hundreds of migrants stranded on a rescue ship in the

told a cabinet meeting that under maritime law, "in cases of distress, those with the closest coastline have a responsibility to respond," said.

"If a boat had as its closest coast, it could land," Griveaux said. "has done its bit, but what is unacceptable is the behaviour and political instrumentalisation of the Italian "

Successive Italian governments have accused their European partners of leaving the country to cope on its own with an influx of 700,000 migrants from since 2013.

But Griveaux accused the new far-right/populist in of lacking solidarity after it refused to allow the migrant rescue boat Aquarius to land with more than 600 people on board.

"You can't create a precedent that will enable one European country to offload onto other European countries," he continued. "We need to show solidarity which has not shown."

The new Italian has pledged to deport hundreds of thousands of people living in the country illegally and stop boats carrying migrants from landing on its shores.

has faced criticism from some leftist opposition parties and members of his own Republic on the Move party for not offering to take in the 600 people on board the Aquarius.

has offered to take them in, which Macron praised during the cabinet meeting.

A for Macron's Republic on the Move party earlier said the Italian government's policy was "sickening."

"The position, the line of the is sickening. It's unacceptable to play with human lives which is what is happening at the moment," told the

"I'm a for the party, not the government, but I can't imagine that will not play a role in finding a for this boat," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 19:25 IST