World Giorgia Meloni’s Italy migration deal blocked by Albanian court

Giorgia Meloni’s Italy migration deal blocked by Albanian court


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Albania’s parliament had been expected to vote on ratifying the deal on Thursday, but that has now been postponed.

The five-year agreement was announced last month by Ms Meloni and her Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama.

Under the accord, up to 36,000 migrants a year are to be diverted to Albania, where their requests for asylum will be assessed.

Those who have their requests turned down will be repatriated to their home countries. Ms Meloni, who is under huge pressure at home to deal with the record number of migrants arriving on Italian shores, had confidently predicted that the two centres would be built and operational by the spring.

So far this year, more than 153,000 migrants and refugees have reached Italy, most of them in boats organised by traffickers that depart from Tunisia and Libya.

The challenge to the deal is a blow to Italy’s Right-wing coalition, at least in the short-term, and reminiscent of the difficulties that the Conservatives are facing in getting their Rwanda migrant plan up and running.

It is likely to be a topic of conversation when Rishi Sunak visits Rome on Saturday to meet Ms Meloni and to attend a political convention organised by her Right-wing party, Brothers of Italy.

Senior figures in the Italian coalition put on a brave face despite the Albanian court decision.

Antonio Tajani, the foreign minister, insisted that he was not worried about the suspension of the accord.

“I think it is a legal issue that will be resolved fairly quickly. But it is not for us to comment on the decisions of the court of a candidate country to join the European Union.”

In gratitude for agreeing to the migrant accord, Italy has thrown its weight behind Albania’s long-standing hopes of joining the EU, along with other western Balkan countries.


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