Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte (pictured) said any foreign military intervention in Libya would not resolve the conflict in its former colony, warning that it might trigger a refugee exodus across the Mediterranean.
“A military option cannot be a solution,” Conte told daily Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper in an interview published on April 13.
This week Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he would not “stand by” if France were to block peace in Libya.
“If there were economic interests behind the chaos in Libya, if France blocked a European initiative to bring peace, if that were true, I won’t stand by and watch,” he said on Italian radio.
“Also because the Italians would pay the consequences“.
Salvini said “if someone for business (interests) plays war, they’ve found the wrong minister in me“.
Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini articulated that his country is “no longer the doormat of Europe”, while commenting on repelled migrants transported to Italy from Libyan coast by Aquarius NGO vessel, and the proposal of Spain to host them. Salvini also said that Spain can also host “another 66,000” migrants who stay in Italy now.
“Finally the Germans, the French, the Belgians, the Dutch and even the Spanish are listening to us,” Salvini underlined. The minister said he would seek to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests are rejected and work on a plan for Africa featuring development interventions to reduce migrant flows.
Reportedly Salvini demanded the Netherlands to recall Dutch-flagged ‘rescue’ ships of open borders NGOs, like Aquarius, insisting Italy refuses to be complicit in “illegal immigration business”.
Coastguards continue to recover bodies of migrants drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean on Sunday (3/05/2018), reportedly the boat had sank next to Tunisian coast.
Tunisian authorities said 47 bodies were recovered off the country’s southern coast, close to the city of Sfax, while NGOs presume there were more passengers on the crowded boat.
“The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo cautioning on Twitter that the final number of missing was still uncertain.
Meanwhile on a visit to Sicily Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said that the island must stop being “the refugee camp of Europe“.
The leader of the Lega Nord party said his government’s plans on migrants were not “hard line… but common sense”.
Salvini added that increasing deportations and limiting new arrivals would end up in saving lives, discouraging illegal migrants to take a risky adventure in Mediterranean waters.