Countless migrants have washed up on Italy’s shores in the past few days. Then Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini also joined it. He was known for his strict immigration policies during his tenure as interior minister in 2018. Regarding the latest incident, he said: If 120 boats full of migrants reach the shores of Italy at the same time, “this is not a spontaneous event, but a declaration of war on Europe”.
Salvini, who currently heads the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, warned: The problem is not just in Lampedusa. This situation “could collapse the entire Italian society.” In his view, mass migration to Europe is controlled by criminal organizations, including human trafficking organizations.
Lega Nord politicians were not stingy in their criticism of Europe. This would cause Italy to completely fail in protecting Europe’s land and sea borders. Rome must therefore act itself to tighten national security and migration rules.
Before Salvini made these statements public, he met behind closed doors with ministers, secretaries of state and Lega MPs.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni launched a campaign aimed at stopping the migrants and established a “naval blockade”. However, since he took office, Italy has seen a record number of illegal immigrants enter the country. The Prime Minister also approved a plan for Italy to accept more than 400,000 legal migrants from non-EU countries every year.
Salvini, who as interior minister succeeded in significantly reducing illegal immigration, currently values unity with Meloni. As Remix News reported, Meloni maintained his strong polling numbers despite the U-turn on immigration. The country’s growing immigration crisis does not appear to have diminished his appeal among voters.
Salvini also declared that a union of European conservatives and moderates was the only way to “send the socialists home”, referring to next year’s European Parliament elections. He said that the future of Europe is at stake in the elections.