Giorgia Meloni: Legal vs. Illegal Immigration

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is now the most popular national leader in the European Union. Mind you, that’s a low bar, but still… A 52% approval rating is nothing to sneeze at, especially in a country as fractious as Italy.

Ms. Meloni recently paid a visit to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. She made the following remarks about immigration during the press conference after their meeting.

Many thanks to HeHa for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:03   As for the topic of migration: responsibility and solidarity.
00:09   Responsibility and solidarity mean that we cannot let human traffickers handle this issue.
00:16   Easy as that. It means we ought to distinguish two fields
00:19   that are different and need to be ruled over differently.
00:22   Which are: the topic of refugees and the topic of migration.
00:28   In recent years, and especially on the southern front, these two fields have overlapped.
00:35   This has led to a situation where, in most cases,
00:40   whoever enters Italian territory is not entitled to humanitarian protection.
00:46   And this makes it so difficult to help those who really need humanitarian protection.
00:53   We have seen that in Ukraine, even if Italy has done its part as well,
00:56   concerning Ukrainian refugees.
00:59   And this, as for the topic of refugees.
01:02   On the other side, the more the immigration quotas are covered by those who enter illegally,
01:07   the less we can give a chance to the people who would like to enter legally,
01:12   those who respect the rules. For instance, as Chancellor Scholz was saying earlier,
01:16   I agree on the point that, in order to facilitate the cooperation
01:20   with the countries of departure of these migrants,
01:23   they may be disposed to help us counter illegal immigration
01:29   in exchange for quotas on legal immigration.
01:35   I am absolutely for that.
01:38   In the past I was against it, back when we were forced
01:42   to reduce the quotas of legal immigration to zero because
01:47   all available quotas were covered by those who would enter illegally.
01:51   I wonder whether you have read the press reports about these human traffickers,
02:01   who would often say, “If you get into trouble, throw all the migrants into the sea.”
02:04   I don’t think the solution is to help these people enrich themselves
02:08   or let them handle the migration flows,
02:11   in order to face this issue with responsibility and solidarity.
02:14   I think that it is the EU, the EU countries that should handle them,
02:17   and that can be done in so many ways. For instance,
02:20   I am for discussing about opening our consulates in Africa,
02:25   so those who are entitled to migrate can apply regularly,
02:29   and then we can redistribute them. It’s a different thing
02:35   to handle or let someone handle migration, by mixing up
02:40   legal migrants, illegals, refugees, economic migrants, as if they were the same thing.
02:45   Because that has led us to the problems we face today.
02:49   And more especially today, we also have a problem of safety, and I say it once again,
02:52   so I guess we are all called to responsibility.

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