Italian PM Pledges to Save Schengen, Europe From Destruction

Italian PM Pledges to Save Schengen, Europe From Destruction © AP Photo/

05:36 31.01.2016(updated 05:44 31.01.2016) Get short URL

Italy’s prime minister claimed that powers that try to destroy the visa-free Schengen zone in fact aim to shatter a united Europe and pledged to oppose those actors with “force, decisiveness and courage.”

Matteo Renzi expressed his devotion to the idea of a unified Europe and promised to stand up for it during his visit to the Italian island of Ventotene on Saturday.

Renzi arrived to Ventotene to pay tribute to Altiero Spinelli, one of the ideologists behind European unification. He took part in the commemoration events and laid flowers on the Spinelli’s grave.

Spinelli is the author of “Ventotene Manifesto,” which inspired the creation of the EU. He started to work on the manifesto in 1941 while being imprisoned by Italian fascists who ruled the country at the time.

“Europe is in danger of collapsing when it becomes simply a set of self-interests,” Renzi said while delivering a speech in the memory of Spinelli.

The Italian leader also pointed out that modern Europe is undergoing a harsh test on vitality regarding the continuing migrant crisis.

“Today, in a moment of great difficulty for Europe, we decided to return here, where it all began… to pay homage to what happened during what was perhaps the most difficult moment in the history of European identity.”

In the run up to the event, Renzi met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Politicians discussed ways toward a refugee crisis solution and concluded that a united European response is the only option.

However, Renzi noted that all European countries should share the burden of resolving the problem.

Meanwhile, the immigrant inflow into the EU keeps growing. More than a million people from states like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan entered Europe in 2015. The crisis is considered the gravest since WWII.

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