Florence (Italy), May 6 (IANS/AKI) Migration is a “battle to be won” that is “full of challenges”, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Friday, after Pope Francis earlier chided Europe for failing to welcome migrants.
“Last year was a year of battle for immigration, a battle still to be won and full of challenges,” Renzi said his annual ‘State of the Union’ address in Florence.
“But now everyone is reflecting on migration as phenomenon that affects us all,” he added.
Earlier, in a hard-hitting speech at the Vatican to European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis urged them not to treat migrants as “criminals”, to “tear down walls” and build a fairer society.
Some 1.1 million migrants and asylum-seekers entered Europe in 2015 as the continent faces its biggest influx of refugees since World War II.