The Italian government is really cracking down on the trafficking of migrants from Libya across the Mediterranean. Not only are they denying entry to the NGO migrant-ferries, they are intercepting and arresting the people-smugglers before they can return to Libya.
This “hardline” (as the media describe it) policy is guaranteed to inflame the Puir Wee Bairn Syndrome among the media and the chatterati, who treat every migrant as if he were a child, never mind the fact that he has a receding hairline and a full beard. They are adamant that not a single hair on his itty-bitty head be harmed.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini seems immune to the syndrome, fortunately. He’s doing what needs to be done, which is what the voters elected him to do.
Below are excerpts from three articles (hat tips to Insubria and Reader From Chicago) about a related case, that of the Sea-Watch 3, a vessel which flies a Dutch flag and is owned by a German NGO.
First, from ANSA:
Dutch Should Intervene on Sea-Watch Salvini Tells Conte
UNHCR urges Italy to let rescued migrants land on Lampedusa
(ANSA) — Rome, June 21 — Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Friday wrote to Premier Giuseppe Conte reiterating his ‘closed ports’ policy and saying that the Netherlands should deal with the Sea-Watch 3, which has been stuck in international waters south of Lampedusa for nine days with 43 rescued migrants aboard.
Salvini, who is also deputy premier and leader of the anti-migrant League party, said “a fresh energetic initiative of sensibilisation” was needed towards the Netherlands, given that the ship, which is run by a German NGO, flies a Dutch flag.
Meanwhile the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, again urged Italy to let the Sea-Watch migrants land on Lampedusa.
“These desperate people must be disembarked, it is an obligation sanctioned by international norms,” said UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch.
“Italy has a responsibility to let these people land,” said Baloch.
“None of them must return”, he said, to war-torn Libya which has no internationally recognised ports of safety.
Salvini has vowed that “none of them will land in Italy”.
He reiterated Friday, after the UNHCR appeal, that “the interior ministry decides who gets into Italy”.
Italy Holds Netherlands, EU ‘Responsible’ For Migrant Boat
Italy’s hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini said he would hold the Netherlands and the European Union “responsible” for the fate of 42 migrants that Rome has blocked from disembarking at Italian ports for over a week.
The Dutch-flagged rescue boat Sea-Watch 3 has been stuck in the Mediterranean since rescuing 53 migrants drifting in an inflatable raft off the coast of Libya on June 12.
And again, from ANSA:
Send Sea Watch migrants to Netherlands,Germany says Salvini
Interior minister says ‘pirate ship’ should be seized
(ANSA) — Rome, June 24 — Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini reiterated on Monday that he does not intend to let a group of migrants rescued by a ship run by the Sea-Watch NGO land in Italy. He was commenting after the European Commission called on the EU member states involved in the case to find a solution for the 43 migrants who have been at sea for almost two weeks because a port of safety has not been allocated.
“Does the European Union want to solve the Sea-Watch problem? That’s easy,” said League leader Salvini.
“It’s a Dutch ship, the NGO is German — half of the immigrants should go to Amsterdam, the other half to Berlin.
“Then seize the pirate ship”.
|00:00||We speak now of the illegal [unintelligible] transported to Licata is the mother ship|
|00:05||intercepted by the Guardia di Finanza. On board were the arrested smugglers.|
|00:10||Two other traffickers are in custody at Lampedusa, and the ship Sea Watch is still off Lampedusa.|
|00:15||Our correspondent, Giuseppe Lavenia.|
|00:18||The Guardia di Finanza agents on the boat of the smugglers.|
|00:21||It was shortly after six when the boat seized in international waters|
|00:24||arrived in the port of Licata. The human traffickers come off the boat|
|00:28||one at a time are taken into custody of military agents.|
|00:32||They are accused of organizing yet another migrant voyage to Italian coasts.|
|00:37||Here are the images that incriminate them: the transfer of men, women|
|00:40||and children occurred 30 nautical miles from Lampedusa.|
|00:43||There are 81 who passed from the mother ship to a small boat on the open sea.|
|00:47||at the risk of sinking before touching land.|
|00:50||No scruples for the traffickers — free of the boat, they couldn’t care less about the fate|
|00:54||of those people they have transported to this point. The only objective is to escape|
|00:58||to return to Libya. The patrol boats of the Guardia intercept them.|
|01:03||In the caserne this morning, they stated that they were Libyan and Egyptian.|
|01:07||They are in custody. Seven have to answer for complicity in illegal immigration.|
|01:13||Two other suspected smugglers were identified by the Flying Squad (National Police) of Agrigento.|
|01:18||According to the prosecutor, they are believed responsible|
|01:21||for another disembarkation that occurred in the past few days.|
|01:24||But remaining blocked at the limit of our territorial waters is the ship,|
|01:28||Sea Watch, the NGO boat prohibited from entry|
|01:31||by the Viminale (Ministry of Interior). On board the volunteers continue to ask for permission|
|01:35||from a port to unload the migrants rescued at sea.|
|01:39||Today a man was evacuated by the Coast Guard due to a worsening of his condition.