Aug 28, 2018

Go deeper: The EU-Italy migrant standoff

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban and Italian Minister of Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini shake hands on August 28, 2018. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca via Getty Images

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Tuesday to discuss a migration plan the two immigration hardliners can present to the European Union, reports The Guardian.

Why it matters: The meeting followed an intense weekend standoff in which Salvini, who also serves as Italy's interior minister, refused to let more than 150 migrants disembark a rescue ship unless the EU agreed to distribute them across other countries. He's now facing potential charges for abuse of office, kidnapping, and illegal arrest. Salvini's meeting with the virulently anti-immigrant Orbán — whom he has called his political role model — indicates that Italy and its populist government have no intention of yielding to the EU's migration demands.

The backdrop: The coalition government of Salvini's far-right League party and the Five-Star Movement, led by Luigi Di Maio, has cracked down on the number of migrants Italy will accept. Tensions came to a head on Monday, when Di Maio threatened to veto the EU's seven-year budget plan for not complying with Italy's demands during the weekend crisis.

“In Europe the music will change ... There’s no dogma over the approval of the multi-year budget for the next seven years, which they would like to rush to approve before the European elections. We won’t let them do it, and if the immigration situation does not change between now and the near future, the veto will be certain."
— Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio

Italy's Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi later added that while contributing to the EU's budget is a legal obligation, the burden of accepting migrants "cannot be based purely on the geography of the continent,” per the FT.

  • In 2017, Italy received 16,577 migrants, the third-most in Europe next to Greece (22,899) and Spain (17,950), according to the International Organization on Migration. Figures have dropped significantly since the new government decided to close all seaports to rescue boats in the Mediterranean.

What's next: Per The Guardian, some Italian media have speculated that Salvini's meeting with Hungary's Orbán could be a prelude to a populist alliance ahead of the 2019 European parliamentary elections.

Go deeper: Europe's growing anti-immigration backlash.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

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Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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