Italian leftists are furious over Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni directing NGO migrant “taxi” ships to drop off migrants in cities run by leftist mayors.
Alongside the new regulations for migrant “taxi” ships as part of a recent security decree, the Meloni government has begun to direct vessels picking up migrants in the Mediterranean to ports further away from the search and rescue (SAR) area, often to cities run by leftist mayors.
The new policy has sparked protests from the left-establishment Democratic Party (PD) and the city mayors themselves, arguing the measures are “punitive” despite the supposed benefits of diversity and immigration, Il Giornale reports.
Wanda Ferro, the undersecretary at Italy’s Interior Ministry, responded to the protests from the left, saying: “The left protests because NGO ships are finally disembarking in other regions of central Italy and no longer only in the South. Evidently, on the left, they would like to transform Calabria and Sicily into the refugee camp of Europe, a completely unacceptable prospect.”
Ferro added that the asylum reception centres in the Italian south have been under constant pressure for years, and that the government’s move to relieve that pressure was the correct approach.
She also rejected complaints from migrant “taxi” NGOs who are forced to travel days from the SAR area, observing that “no one is shocked when the same ships keep refugees at sea for weeks” waiting to pick up more migrants.
(The ships also go out of their way to take migrants to European ports rather than closer North African ones, of course.)