"By saving lives and welcoming refugees, Italy has done its duty. Slovakia must now do the same," says S&D MEP

Patrizia Toia, the Head of the Italian delegation to the S&D Group in the European Parliament, has spoken in support of her country's response to the refugee crisis following remarks by Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Head of the Italian S&D delegation, Patrizia Toia said: 

"Regarding the accusations that Mr Fico expressed against Italy, I repeat what we have said for months: in the face of a serious humanitarian emergency, Italy and Renzi's government have done their duty, saving and welcoming thousands of refugees fleeing war zones. Now, after a long time, the rest of Europe has finally woken up to this unfolding drama. I would remind the Slovak PM that this is the same spirit in which European countries welcomed and hosted thousands of exiles from Communist regimes during the Cold War. In those years, the rest of Europe showed solidarity with Slovakia, Mr Fico must remember history and now do the same for those in need of our protection. Until he does this we fully support Gianni Pittella's call to suspend him from the Party of European Socialists (PES)."