epaselect epa06810534 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R) after their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 15 June 2018. French President Macron and Italian Premier Conte met on the day amid tensions between the two countries over migration issues.  EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON
epaselect epa06810534 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R) after their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 15 June 2018. French President Macron anShow more

Macron urges solidarity amid French-Italian tension

French President Emmanuel Macron called for greater European solidarity over migration Friday following talks with the new Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte after the leaders met for the first time since a spat emerged between the two countries.

Mr Conte urged for a “radical” overhaul of asylum rules and greater engagement with migrant departure and transit countries. Both backed proposals to process asylum applications at “European centres” in the country of origin. The Italian Premier was particular keen to push the case for tearing up the current EU asylum regulations known as the Dublin Regulation.

Under the agreement those applying for asylum must do so in the first country they enter, a system that has put increasing pressure on Italy and helped fuel the rise of its new populist government.

Mr Conte threatened to cancel the Paris talks after Mr Macron described as Italy “cynical and irresponsible” for not accepting an NGO ship carrying 629 migrants. The boat ‘Aquarius’ was denied entry to Italy as part of a new hardline approach by Conte’s government that seeks to clampdown on migrant arrivals. The ship is now headed to the Spanish port of Valencia accompanied by two Italian ships but has been forced to alter its route due to bad weather. Doctors on board have warned that the mostly sub-Saharan migrants, who include women and children, are becoming increasingly unwell.

While the lead up to the Paris meeting was turbulent, the two men afterwards appeared keen to find common ground, focused on overhauling the system. Mr Macron spoke  of European-built resettlement centres outside the bloc as well as internal reforms.

“We must change strategy and set up a system coherent with European Union values, reinforcing protection of human lives,” Mr Conte said. “We must prevent the journeys of death. We must create European protection centres in countries also to speed up the process of identification and request for asylum.”


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Mr Macron also emphasised the need to strengthen the EU’s external border force Frontex, saying asylum decisions could not be taken “when boats are a few kilometres from the coast.” Nonetheless he seemed keen to underline that France had suffered from the migrant crisis and still had many inside their borders.

The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini further fuelled the controversy over his hardline stance when on Friday he was reported to have commented that the Aquarius, also denied entry to Malta, was taking a “cruise” to Spain. The diplomatic furore grew enough that Pope Francis waded in and called for a “shared global management of international migration in the values of justice, solidarity and compassion. Such international cooperation is important at every stage of migration.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for "a new Europe where national egoism does not prevail".

Italy has made it clear that it is turning away NGO ships carrying migrants rather than its own coastguard. After turning the Aquarius away, it allowed one of its ships carrying over 900 migrants land on Sicily on Wednesday.


Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor

Rating: Two out of five stars 

Cinco in numbers

Dh3.7 million

The estimated cost of Victoria Swarovski’s gem-encrusted Michael Cinco wedding gown


The number, in kilograms, that Swarovski’s wedding gown weighed.


The hours it took to create Cinco’s vermillion petal gown, as seen in his atelier [note, is the one he’s playing with in the corner of a room]


How many looks Cinco has created in a new collection to celebrate Ballet Philippines’ 50th birthday


The hours needed to create the butterfly gown worn by Aishwarya Rai to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

1.1 million

The number of followers that Michael Cinco’s Instagram account has garnered.


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

25 Days to Aden

Author: Michael Knights

Pages: 256

Available: January 26

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

A Prayer Before Dawn

Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire

Starring: Joe Cole, Somluck Kamsing, Panya Yimmumphai

Three stars

'The Predator'
Dir: Shane Black
Starring: Olivia Munn, Boyd Holbrook, Keegan-Michael Key
Two and a half stars

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

For Euro 2024 qualifers away to Malta on June 16 and at home to North Macedonia on June 19:

Goalkeepers Johnstone, Pickford, Ramsdale.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Dunk, Guehi, Maguire, Mings, Shaw, Stones, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Bellingham, Eze, Gallagher, Henderson, Maddison, Phillips, Rice.

Forwards Foden, Grealish, Kane, Rashford, Saka, Wilson.

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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