Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto criticised Germany's plan to finance charities helping migrants in the Mediterranean, saying that the plan causes difficulties for Italy, as Rome tries to enforce tougher measures to stem the flow of sea arrivals.
Crosetto described the German plan as "very serious", stressing that Italy remains resolute in combating the human smugglers, who he said should be treated as international criminals.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the German foreign ministry said on that Berlin was implementing a parliamentary financial support programme for both civilian sea rescue and projects on land.
"We have received several applications for funding. In two cases, the examination of the applications has already been completed," the spokesperson said, adding that each project would receive between 400,000 and 800,000 euros.
Italian interior ministry data shows that more than 132,000 migrants arrived in Italy by boat this year, an increase of about 69,000, compared to the same period in 2022.
Italian government announced that it would increase the number of migrants detention centers and lengthen the detention period. (QNA)
A woman reacts, as she disembarks from a vessel after being rescued at sea, on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, September 18, 2023. REUTERS/Yara Nardi