Salvini to Amend Law to Confiscate Ships from Migrant Transport NGOs

TOPSHOT - Migrants wait to be rescued by the Aquarius rescue ship run by non-governmental

Populist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini is said to be reworking the security and migration decree to allow the government to confiscate ships flying under the Italian flag.

The new proposal comes as Italian migrant transport NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans announced it would be putting another vessel to sea following the confiscation of the Mare Jonio in May.

According to a report from Italian newspaper Il Giornale, Salvini directed those working on the security decree to “prepare every useful measure to prevent what happened in the last few weeks from being repeated”.

The statement is a clear reference to the situation regarding the NGO Sea-Watch and the activities of Sea Watch-3 Captain Carola Rackete, who stormed her way through the Italian territorial water blockade and rammed a patrol boat in order to land migrants against the wishes of Italian authorities.

The amendment would be to Article 2 of the decree which currently only applies to ships flying the flags of other countries, as those with Italian flags have full rights to enter Italian territory.

The new law would, therefore, extend the confiscation of vessels facilitating illegal migration to those flying the Italian flag, as well.

Many on the Italian left have not only criticised the security decree but have vowed to oppose it.

According to members of the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI), Tuscany governor Enrico Rossi has passed a new law to circumvent the decree by giving migrants 600 to 1,000 euros a month.

The two FdI members slammed Rossi, saying: “Not only does he disobey the law, but he does so using public money. In this way, Tuscany and the regions that will do the same will become the free port for all illegal immigrants in Italy.”

According to local councillor Serena Spinelli, the new laws plan to counteract Salvini’s security decree which abolished the so-called humanitarian residency permit.

“The Tuscan law reaffirms instead that there are services necessary to ensure respect for fundamental rights, recognised to every person on the basis of the constitution and international standards,” Spinelli insisted.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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