It is a sure sign that all is not well with the European Union’s attempts to tackle the migrant crisis when key European leaders start criticising each other in public over their differing approach to the issue.
Ever since Europe was hit with a flood of migrants attempting to escape the horrors of the Syrian conflict in the summer of 2015, EU leaders have been struggling to agree on a common policy for handling the crisis.
While countries such as Germany, especially when former Chancellor Angel Merkel was in power, was willing to provide sanctuary for the victims of the brutal conflict in Syria, as well as those fleeing other war zones in other countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, others were not so welcoming.
In eastern Europe, the migrant crisis is said to have strengthened the position of nationalist politicians in Poland and Hungary, which responded by imposing tough border controls.
Meanwhile, countries such as Greece and Italy that are located on the shores of the Mediterranean, the primary epicentre of the migrant crisis, have found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of migrants seeking a safe haven in Europe.
Now, the sheer scale of the challenge facing European leaders has resulted in a remarkable diplomatic spat between Germany and Italy, two of the EU’s founding members who find themselves at loggerheads over how to tackle the migration crisis.
In a letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was “astonished” to learn of a German government initiative to finance migrant rescue charity groups operating in the Mediterranean.