Italy’s new hardliner interior minister Matteo Salvini said Sunday that “common sense” was needed to stop the country from being “Europe’s refugee camp” as he visited a migrant centre in the south of the country.
Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who heads the far-right Leag
ue party, has said his country needs centres to facilitate the expulsion of illegal immigrants. Speaking in Sicily, one of the main destinations for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, Mr Salvini said Italy could not be “the refugee camp of Europe.”
The newly minted deputy prime minister in Italy’s populist coalition government travelled to Sicily, one of the country’s main refugee landing points, to push the anti-immigration platform that propelled him to power.
“Italy and Sicily cannot be Europe’s refugee camp,” he told a crowd of supporters under the blazing sun in the southern Sicilian town of Pozzallo, a migration hotspot. “Nobody will take away my certainty that illegal immigration is a business… and seeing people make money on children who go on to die makes me furious,” he added.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Tunisia — a departure point for migrants heading for Italy — said at least forty-six migrants were now known to have died after their boat capsized off the country’s coast. They said more than sixty others had been rescued.
In another development on the continent, Slovenia’s president has confirmed he will give the leader of the right-wing SDS party, Janez Jansa, the chance to form a new government. The SDS won twenty five seats in Sunday’s election, emerging as the largest single party in the ninety member parliament.
But Mr Jansa’s fiercely anti-immigrant rhetoric and an election campaign that played on fears of Slovenia being overrun by millions of African migrants, has outraged opponents and potential allies alike, and he may struggle to form a government.