Italian President Decries Salvini: Italians Have a ‘Duty’ to Welcome Refugees
President Sergio Mattarella weighs in on immigration on World Refugee Day
Italian President Sergio Mattarella said during a speech for World Refugee Day that all Italians have a “duty” to welcome refugees.
Standing against the populist leader, Matteo Salvini, the Italian president emphasized Italy has a “high moral and legal commitment” to take refugees, according to Il Giornale.
“The refugees remind us every day, forcefully, of stories of suffering, discrimination, separation from families, lands, and roots,” Mattarella said.
“Every people in its history has been the victim of tragedies of this nature.
"The serious difficulties that afflict peoples of regions even close to us deserve careful reflection on the causes of these tragedies and on the answers they require,” he added.
But the president also admitted that Italy should not act alone saying action “must be coordinated and shared by the international community and, above all, at the European level,” insisting the EU most implement a Europe-wide policy.
He added the EU “must be a protagonist to develop a common policy that is able to mitigate conflicts and support the security and development needs of the peoples most exposed to humanitarian crises, through a structured partnership with the countries and communities that host refugees and asylum seekers.”
The comments are in contrast to Italian leader Matteo Salvini who recently closed Italy’s ports to migrant transport NGO ships.
Italy Increases Police Observation of Islamic Cultural Centers | Neon Nettle https://t.co/HofVARZ5sk— I am Anna Q sent me (@anna12061) April 27, 2019
Last year, Italy turned away a migrant ship filled with the 141 people rescued by the humanitarian Aquarius vessel of the coast of Libya, urging the UK or other European Union allies to take them.
Salvini’s policies have prompted a decrease in the number of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean sea.
In January, Italy's government revealed a dramatic drop in the number of migrants following nationalist-populist policies has come into effect.
The Italian government is hailing new figures that show a massive drop in immigration into Italy within months of the government taking power.
The significant change is being attributed to new nationalistic policies that refuse to accept NGO rescue boats of migrants coming from Africa.
According to a report by Italian news outlet Il Giornale, official data reveals that in January 2018, 3,176 migrants landed on the Italian coast via boats, with the number falling by January 2019 to just 155.