Pro-migrant co-op groups which manage asylum reception centres have complained there will be a lack of “profit” after cuts made by populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
The associations which run the migrant reception centres expressed displeasure over the cost-cutting measures that look to reduce the cost of each migrant from 35 to 20 euros per day, arguing that “quality” of service would be affected, Il Giornale reports.
The associations signed a letter slamming the cuts saying that they only provide migrants with basic food and accommodation and do not factor in other issues such as learning Italian, as well as health and social services including psychiatric care for migrants with mental issues.
The groups also noted there would be less money for “company profits” and “overheads” likely reducing the pay of those working at the migrant centres.
Salvini and others have presented many reasons for the cuts, arguing that money was being wasted on migrants unlikely to obtain refugee status when 70 percent on average are rejected.
“Who saw immigration as a trough is, from today, on a diet,” Salvini said and slammed mafia groups and others for trying to make a profit from migrants adding, “the world of hospitality will remain that of true volunteers.”
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Reports of Italian mafia groups being involved in asylum seeker reception centres have been noted for several years including in 2016 when it was claimed that criminal groups in Sicily were taking government money to house migrants while providing substandard living conditions.
The mafia was also accused of forcing migrants to pay them “protection money” with migrants who disagreed being dealt with harshly and often with violence.
Another report released last year by Italy’s anti-mafia task force showed that migration had become one of the most profitable businesses for criminal organisations across the country.
Foreign organised crime groups often from North African countries, were also said to be cooperating with traditional Italian mafia groups.