Meloni in Zagreb: “Agreement with Albania on migrants is an example to be replicated”

This is an “innovative and intelligent” agreement, there is interest in the EU”, explained the Prime Minister after the bilateral meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic

LThe agreement on migrants signed by Italy and Albania is an “innovative and intelligent” agreement and it can be “an example to be replicated”, said Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during statements to the press after the bilateral meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. Italy was a “pioneer”, remarked Meloni, registering the “interest from other European partners” in the agreement reached with the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“I am happy to bring the presence of the Italian Prime Minister here twenty years after the last trip, something inexplicable due to the geographical proximity” with Croatia “but not only”, she said. The two countries, the Prime Minister underlined, “agree on many issues” and must work “synergistically”. With Croatia, for example, “we agree that we are facing an unprecedented migration crisis and the best way to deal with this crisis” is to work on the “external dimension”, he said. In this context “I have always found great support from Croatia”, underlined Meloni. According to the tenant of Palazzo Chigi, the problem of flows migratory issues must be resolved “upstream” by strengthening cooperation “with African countries”. “We are aware of the problems that cross-border communities are facing” to the suspension of Schengen, but “it is a transitional situation that we are ready to reevaluate when the security conditions are calmer”, assured Meloni.

The prime minister then underlined that Italy and Croatia intend to move forward “in the process of reunification” of the Western Balkans with the EU. According to Meloni, the European Union “must give concrete signals quickly and there is an important Council in December” in which “I think we can give signals on the opening of negotiations to Bosnia and Herzegovina”, continued the prime minister, the who said she was “optimistic that the procedure will be started”.

Speaking about the new Stability Pact, Meloni explained that “it seems to me that steps forward are being made” but this progress “is still insufficient”, so we need to “work a lot and more”. Hoping for a “final rush” on the definition of the new rules of EU governance, the Prime Minister defined the return to the old parameters as “deadly for our economy”. Europe “must rethink itself” to face “the great challenges” it faces, including that of enlargement, he added.

Plenkovic: “Border control regime should be eased in view of the holidays”

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, for his part, said he hoped that the border control regime, reintroduced by Italy and ten other Schengen area countries, “will be facilitated to find a solution that does not slow down the tourist flow achieved in the last season, when tourists arrived without border controls”. Plenkovic recognized that “Italy is not isolated” in the choice to reintroduce controls, a step taken by ten others Villages.

Croatia is in a situation where, due to energy prices, and energy security, it needs to be flexible on the budget, Plenkovic said. “Croatia is trying to stay within the parameters defined before joining the euro area. Now the debt is 67 percent and the deficit is 1.9 percent, a little more than expected. But it is important that we also think about the pensions, reforms and investments”, he specified, claiming the “concrete results”, in terms of the level of livelihood of families and businesses, achieved in the recent past thanks to state intervention.