The Italian government has announced the creation of a new fund that will be used to provide incentives for countries to take back their nationals who have come to Italy illegally and face repatriation.
The new fund will fall under the scope of the migration and security decree which was written by populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and passed last year by the Italian parliament, so says to a report from Italian newspaper Il Giornale.
According to a statement from the government, the new fund is designed to, “give incentives to countries that prove particularly collaborative in the sector of repatriation of illegal immigrants,” and is a joint move between Salvini’s Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry under Enzo Moavero Milanesi.
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In recent days, Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi di Maio complained that while the migrant decree had concrete plans to stop incoming illegal migration, there were few proposals in it regarding the repatriation of illegal migrants. “It is one thing to block the ports, another send thousands of people home,” he said.
Since closing the ports and reducing illegal migration by over 90 percent, Salvini has expressed a deep desire to begin repatriations of individuals living in Italy illegally and without claims of asylum. Prior to the national election last year, Salvini spoke of deporting up to 500,000 illegals from the country.
Already in November, the Lega leader said he wanted to put aside 12 million euros as incentives for countries such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Bangladesh, and Pakistan with whom Italy does not currently have a formal repatriation agreement. The projection, which he said would last until the end of 2021, is expected to see the repatriation of around 2,700 migrants in total.
The policy promises of Salvini still command a great deal of support from the Italian public as a whole, with many polls going into this month’s European Parliament election giving Lega a commanding lead over their M5S coalition partners.