The European Commission offered on Tuesday to shoulder the cost of taking in migrants from boats in the Mediterranean, seeking to entice more governments to shoulder the burden after Italy's new government closed the country's ports to rescue vessels.
Under the proposal, the Union's common budget would pay out 6,000 euros ($7,000) for each migrant taken in, as well as funding the cost of hundreds of expert personnel to help process mostly African migrants seeking asylum in Europe.
Italy's rightist interior minister, Matteo Salvini, swiftly denounced the offer as far too little.
"We aren't asking for charity handouts. Every asylum seeker costs the Italian taxpayer between 40,000 and 50,000 euros. Brussels, they can keep their charity for themselves," Salvini told reporters. "We don't want money. We want dignity."