POPULAR Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini has signalled that when it comes to waves of uncontrolled immigration, Italy will be talking and acting tough.
Yesterday, he told the rest of Europe plainly that if it does not help Italy with the wave of migrants crossing over from Libya then they will simply be sent back.
Salvini’s comments come amid a fresh stand-off between Italy and Malta. The Italian government demanded Malta rescue migrants from their boats in Maltese waters on August 16th but the Maltese government refused and they were eventually placed aboard the Italian coast guard ship the Diciotti. It was then refused permission to dock in Italian ports by the Italian government.
He said: “Europe needs to seriously decide to help Italy in concrete terms, starting with 177 immigrants on board the Diciotti. Or we will be forced to do what will definitely break up the smugglers’ business – that is to take the rescued people back to Libya.”
Clearly, the hard-line stance adopted by Salvini is immensely popular with the Italian people. The most recent Ipsos poll found approval for the 5*-Lega alliance at a historic high of 62% with the parties support surging 8% in the last two months.