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EU establishment appeases Italy & populists in bid to salvage bloc’s survival

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Beneath the “everyone’s a winner” smiles, however, the upshot was undoubtedly a victory for Italy and other populist governments that have been pushing the EU to take a harder line on the question of refugees.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed a “European solution.” European Council President Donald Tusk, who chaired the two-day summit in Brussels, also welcomed the apparent accord reached.

One suspects that the real concern for Macron, Merkel and Tusk was that the summit did not erupt into full-blown conflict between member states. Ahead of the meeting, Merkel had warned that it was “make or break” for the EU’s survival to find a solution. It wasn’t clear if the populist governments would even engage in dialogue, thereby bringing the 28-member bloc into disarray.

Merkel was also facing a political crisis at home if the EU did not come up with some kind of working arrangement over immigration. Her coalition partner, the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union, was threatening to collapse the Berlin government if Merkel could not get other EU members to formulate a common approach.

So, in the end, after all-night “virulent discussions,” why the EU leaders are hailing a “compromise” and “European cooperation” is really a sense of relief that the bloc has managed to hold together – for now.

The text of the summit’s accord is vague. It remains to see how – or if – its aspirations will be implemented. In which case, the simmering tensions and rifts between EU members will boil up again.

The salient outcome is the EU has shifted to accommodate the demands made by Italy and other anti-immigrant governments in Austria and the Visegrad Four of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. This was not a........

© RT.com