Italian PM Meloni in Stockholm to discuss migration with Swedish PM

Giorgia Meloni, Italy's Prime Minister, is visiting Stockholm on Friday to meet Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and discuss EU issues, including migration.

Italian PM Meloni in Stockholm to discuss migration with Swedish PM
Italian PM Giorgia Meloni at a press conference in Rome. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Meloni, leader of the right-wing populist Brothers of Italy party, is the second government leader to visit Kristersson after Finland’s Sanna Marin, who was in Stockholm earlier this week.

The two leaders will discuss migration, as well as how the EU should respond to the American Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which could pull investment and jobs from the EU to the US.

“There is a strong Swedish interest in better protection of the European border,” Kristersson told TT newswire.

The migration issue has been described as “acute”, with the EU scheduling an extra summit meeting in a week’s time to discuss both migration and the IRA.

When asked if Sweden and Italy have the same views on how to tackle migration, Kristersson replied that that “remains to be seen”.

“We have this summit in a week, initiated by Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria, who have seen extremely large numbers of refugees over a very short period,” he added.

Kristersson further said that the topic of conversation with Meloni will be how the EU’s outer borders could be made more difficult for migrants to cross.

“One of the points of discussion today is how we can strengthen the external border of the EU so that irregular migration, as it’s known, simply cannot enter the EU, and stopping it at the border instead.”

“There are many people who lack grounds for asylum who try to enter [the EU], and Italy is well aware of this,” Kristersson said.

He added that the current situation “is not working”, and that there are “a lot of people” who come to Europe without grounds for asylum, who then “enter and live in a shadow society, also in Sweden”.

No press conferences or photo opportunities are planned during Meloni’s visit, the Swedish cabinet committee told TT.

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Stockholm trains disrupted as drivers start three-day wildcat strike

Stockholm's transport provider SL warned of chaotic commuting traffic on Monday morning after train drivers announced a so-called "wildcat strike" for three days, started at 3am on Monday. 

Stockholm trains disrupted as drivers start three-day wildcat strike

“This is going to have a big impact on traffic,” SL’s press chief Andreas Strömberg told the TT newswire early on Monday. “Right now the trains are out and rolling, it’s not as if all of them have ground to a halt, but it’s going to be a difficult situation for travellers.” 

SL said that MTR, which operates the trains, had told it that drivers who were supposed to arrive early on Monday morning to work had not turned up, although it remains unclear how many drivers are joining the strike. 

“We are going to have to cancel trains at short notice and it’s going to lead to unstable and irregular traffic,” Strömberg said. 

At 6am, SL had buses in place to take commuters to the nearest Stockholm underground stations. 

The Seko union, which has the majority of train drivers as members, has criticised the strikers.

The decision to strike was taken on Friday at a meeting of 150 train drivers in protest against a decision taken to no longer have guards in train carriages checking tickets and helping maintain order.