Italy says it will not sign up to an EU plan for tackling illegal migration to Europe if it does not make help for Italy a priority.
The leaders of 10 member states plan to meet in Brussels on Sunday in a push to tighten border checks and stem the flow of non-EU migrants inside the bloc.
Italy is now the main arrival point for boatloads of migrants – mostly Africans fleeing chaos and violence in Libya.
“We need help now,” Italy’s right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said.
“If we are going to Brussels to receive the HOMEWORK already prepared by the French and Germans… the prime minister would do better to save the cost of the trip,” he tweeted according to a report by BBC News.
Sunday’s talks come amid serious divisions in the EU over migration and asylum, overshadowing an EU summit to be held on June 28-29.