Share story

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is warning Italy to refrain from issuing threats in the continuing migrant crisis after a prominent government member said that Rome could withhold part of its EU payments.

EU Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said Friday that “the European Union is a community of rules and it operates on the basis of rules, not threats.”

Italy has barred from port some ships with migrants picked up at sea over what it says is sluggishness of other countries to help out. One already-docked ship carrying about 150 is now banned from disembarking adults. Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said the government could curtail its EU contributions if no solution is found.

Winterstein called on “all parties involved to work constructively together to find a swift solution.”